Perak 0-1 Kelantan: Piya-inspired revival sees Red Warriors triumph in Ipoh
The Red Warriors defeated Seladangs in an exciting encounter at the Perak Stadium, thanks to a solitary strike from veteran forward Indra Putra
By Keeshanan Sundaresan
The game started on a very slow note, with Kelantan still visibly tired after their FA Cup triumph. Perak played with a very high defensive line and pushed vigorously. Rangel had an attempt wide off target but before either team could really settle down, the lights went off.
The 'blackout' lasted for almost 13 minutes but when play resumed, Perak continued applying pressure offensively. Chanturu had a shot that went wide off target on the 29th minute, before Yong's disappointing attempt came to a disappointing conclusion as well.
Faiz Subri then fired on target for Kelantan but even that was parried away by Farizal Marlias. This match pitted two of the best goalkeepers in the country but none of them were really tested in the first half, as both sides went into the break with the score being 0-0.
After the break, Kelantan attempted to start brightly with Fakri and Zairo showing more initiative upfront. But Perak continued to create more chances by consistently pushing through the wings. Chanturu was being a real menace on the right hand side, as he pushed through several inch perfect crosses into the box, but neither Rangel nor Azlan Ismail could add the finishing touch to it.
Piya was then brought on for Zairo on the 58th minute, with Bojan Hodak looking visibly dissatisfied with the manner in which his men were playing.
Rangel then tested Khairul Fahmi with a stinging shot. Minutes later, Chanturu was played through on the flanks by Yoganathan and the ex-Kelantan man fired a cross into the box. Azlan Ismail leaped high enough to make contact with it, but his header went wide as well.
But just as the home side were growing increasingly frustrated with their failure to convert key chances, Kelantan striked goal as a quick counter attack move saw Indra Putra score and give them the lead on the 80th minute mark. Dickson could have then added a late goal for the Red Warriors but despite his miss, Kelantan held on to secure a key victory over the Seladangs. The introduction of Piya allowed them to slowly crawl back into the game, and Indra Putra's finish was a fitting reward for their efforts.
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Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed