Selangor put aside their poor league record to earn precious three points against league leaders KelantanWhat looked set to be a cakewalk for Kelantan on paper turned out to be anything but in Matchday 8’s match between Selangor and Kelantan at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium earlier.
Selangor put behind their shoddy league form to rise up to the occasion and earn a precious 2-1 victory against the Red Warriors.
The debut of ex-Croatian international Bosko Balaban brought the much needed lethality into the Red Giants attacking force, and he proved that he was worth the protracted wait, playing a huge part in the first goal, before scoring himself later.
Both teams went for an early goal, however Selangor looked more dangerous, aided by Balaban’s ball shielding. He was involved in three of Selangor’s chances in the first twenty minutes alone, and Selangor could have scored earlier if not for his local teammates.
Kelantan, with their centreback partnership of Subramaniam and Nwaneri who were excellent in the match against Terengganu three days earlier, however calmed their nerves to absorb the assaults to get a foothold on the game. But except for Badri Razi’s attempt from outside of the penalty box which whizzed just inches from the goal, they were not as sharp as they usually are and the cautious first half ended goalless.
The deadlock was broken soon after the second-half began, when Balaban made a nuisance of himself in the Kelantan penalty box. Nwaneri’s weak, hurried clearance probably looked more like a perfect lay off to Syafiq Rahim who struck it from just outside the box, beyond Khairul Fahmi’s fingertips and into the net in the 46th minute.
Selangor began to believe in themselves afterwards, holding off wave after wave of attacks. Against the run of play, Selangor scored again ten minutes later when Balaban who first received a through pass, expertly curled his shot into the far bottom corner to double their lead.
Afterwards it was just a matter of slowing the game down and running out the clock for Selangor, and despite conceding an unfortunate goal in the very last minute from a corner kick, Selangor held on to win the game.