Kedah 1-3 PKNS: Disappointing display from the Canaries
It was a match both teams couldn't afford to lose, with Kedah and PKNS languishing at the wrong end of the Super League standing
By Mohd Taufiq Mohd Zainon
PKNS FC sealed a precious away win at Stadium Darul Aman, beating Kedah 3-1 courtesy of goals from Helmi Youssaeif, Nizaruddin Yusof and Rudie Ramli. Kedah replied through a penalty from Vedran Gerc.
The match started in low tempo with both teams struggling to get the grip of the play. The crowd were apparently bemused by the way players performed on the pitch.
It was PKNS who at times threatened Kedah with Frenchman Mickael Dawood Nicoise proving a real menace to the defenders. In midfield, another foreign import Helmi Loussaief orchestrated the play composedly for PKNS.
Kedah only got their first shot on target after half an hour. Baddrol Bakhtiar’s free kick was saved by Helmi Remeli. The resulting corner almost gifted Kedah the opener but Baddrol’s curling shot once again saved by Helmi.
On the other end, Mohd Azif Nasrulhaq nearly punished Kedah after a quick counter attack but Helmi Eliza came to rescue.
On the 40th minute, Vedran Gerc missed what appeared to be Kedah’s best chance in the first-half. Alfatah Safi sent an inviting cross and Gerc who was unmarked at the near post, sent a shot straight to Helmi Remeli.
A minute into the first-half injury time, PKNS got the opening goal against the run of play. Helmi Loussaeif was given enough space to run 30 yards unchallenged. The midfielder then unleashed an unstoppable shot to beat Helmi Eliza from outside of the penalty box.
If Kedah thought that they could regroup themselves during the break, they were wrong. Seven minutes after the restart, PKNS doubled their lead. Mohd Fauzan’s fierce shot went off the bar and former national striker Nizaruddin was at the right place to nod the rebound into the empty net.
Kedah reduced the deficit two minutes before the hour mark. Sabre Abu was fouled inside the penalty area and Gerc made no mistake to slot the resulting penalty past Helmi Remeli.
However, their fightback lasted only 10 minutes as PKNS scored the third goal. Rudie Ramli scored with his first touch barely a minute after coming on to replace goal scorer Nizaruddin. The former Selangor striker was at the near post to head in Nicoise’s free kick after Fauzie Nan failed to clear the ball.
The goal clearly affected Kedah while PKNS defended resolutely to deny any chances created by their opposition.
After referee Mohd Nazmi Nasarudin blew for the final whistle, the PKNS players and staffs were embracing each other as they knew that they managed to get the job done, sealing a precious three points and leapfrogging Kedah in the Super League standing.
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