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May 10, 2013 8:45 PM SGT
Stadium Tuanku Abdul Rahman — Seremban

Negeri Sembilan 0-3 Kelantan: The Red Warriors overcome hapless Deers

Winless Negeri stumble yet again in the league as the threat of relegation to the Premier League draws closer

By Zulhilmi Zainal

Negeri Sembilan Lineup - vs Kelantan
Zulhilmi Zainal
The match at Paroi saw bottom-placed Negeri Sembilan go against Kelantan, with Kelantan needing to better their away record and the Jangs needing to halt their imminent relegation into the Premier League. Kelantan started with Mohd Norfarhan and Fakri Saarani upfront, as Dickson Nwakaeme was benched. Negeri on the other hand took no chances, and started with their best eleven. 

Three minutes in, Haris Safwan was put through by a pinpoint through pass, but he then chose to tumble under a light shove by William Modibo, and no penalty was given by the match official.

No significant chances were created by both teams in the first fifteen, but the match was feisty nonetheless. Shakir Ali was booked as early as the 16th minute for carelessly hacking on a Kelantan player's legs. Another booking followed suit in the 20th minute, this time for Fauzi Nan for a stomp.

Norfarhan took it upon himself to start threatening the Negeri goal in the 25th minute with a cracking shot from outside the box. The shot had the height, but it ultimately veered narrowly off the mark.

In the 28th minute, Negeri goalkeeper Hamsani Ahmad made the strange decision to come out of his area to contain an attacking Kelantan player himself. He managed to send the ball out to the touch, but couldn't return to the goal in time. The subsequent throw-in resulted in a cross to Indra Putra who whipped in a volley. Luckily for Hamsani, the volley only struck the bar.

But he was not so lucky just three minutes later. Kelantan skipper Badhri Razi again performed his magic by scoring right from a corner kick that went over Hamsani, struck the underside of the bar before going in to give Kelantan the lead.

The Red Warriors almost found an instant second goal in the 37th minute. Left back Zairul Fitri whipped in a stinging cross from the left which Hamsani looked too slow to handle, but his low drive struck the near post instead.

When the second half began, the Jangs walked out of their dressing room by taking out the ineffective Fabio Barbosa for their President's Cup player Amirul Omar.

Shakir Ali almost found an equaliser for Negeri in the 53rd minute, but his weak shot from the left went straight at the keeper.

Kelantan were not content on resting on their laurels either. In the 63rd minute, Dickson was brought in for Haris who was already on one yellow card.

In the 68th minute, a corner kick was met by Obina Nwaneri with a looping header into the far corner of the Negeri goal, but Hamsani timed his leap well to tip the ball over the bar.

While the game was looking to end as a 1-0 affair, a through pass from the halfway line in the 75th minute released Indra Putra who only had Hamsani to beat. He did not tarry long, and stabbed the ball past the on-rushing Hamsani to make it 2-0 for the visitors.

Another through pass in the 81st minute released Norfarhan instead, as the Negeri defence stood rooted to the ground, in expectation of the offside flag by the assistant which was not raised at all. Norfarhan did not have any trouble slotting the ball in, and the deficit widened in favour of the Red Warriors.

Dickson found two chances to score himself three minutes from the end of regulation time, but he was not composed in front of the goal, and both of his attempts went wayward.

The match finished 3-0 to the visiting side.

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