PKNS FC 2-0 Johor Darul Takzim: Wleh double conquers JDT

Darul Takzim will feel hard done in by the ref's erroneous sending off of Al-Hafiz, but the damage had already been done earlier by Patrick Wleh's double strike.
JDT began their 2013 Malaysia Cup campaign in a minor upheaval, as their former head coach Fandi Ahmad resigned 24 hours before they were scheduled to take on PKNS FC in their first Group B match.

Both teams started the match brightly, but it was surprisingly PKNS who opened the scoring in the game in the 16th minute through a Patrick Wleh deflected shot, after he received a through pass outside the penalty box. He dribbled inside and unleashed a shot that hit a defender on its way in, past a helpless Al-Hafiz.

Just a few minutes later, Wleh had a chance to double his tally, again from a through pass, but his touch was a little too heavy and the ball was then safely gathered by Al-Hafiz.

Against all odds, JDT found themselves to be the more desperate side, and their midfielder Jasazrin Jamaluddin was booked for a clumsy challenge on Nazmi Faiz in the 21st minute.

JDT almost equalised through a Lionel Nunez freekick from just outside the penalty box in the 33rd minute, but his wonderfully-curled shot was anticipated well by goalkeeper Remezey Che Ros who managed to palm it away. Although the rebound fell to Andrezinho, his subsequent attempt left much to be desired.

Six minutes later, PKNS did well to counter attack from the left, as Wleh was charging into the box. But as the winger was about to send in a low cross towards him, Wleh comically slipped on the loose turf and missed the golden opportunity to compound the Southern Tigers' misery. JDT were given a reprieve.

As the first half approached its end, PKNS were the more positive side as JDT looked to be running out of ideas, rarely venturing into the PKNS area.

But in the second half JDT left their prior poor performance behind to attack from the strating whistle. Three minutes in, Nurul Azwan hammered in a volley from a cross from the right, but his attempt flew agonisingly close over the bar.

However, it was PKNS who again scored against the run of play in the 57th minute. Nazmi threaded in an inch-perfect through pass to Wleh who sneaked in behind the JDT defence, before Wleh slotted the ball in near the far post with his first touch.

Wleh again proved troublesome for JDT just five minutes later, which resulted in a straight red for Al-Hafiz. A through pass again put the defence in a disarray, and when Al-Hafiz charged Wleh down at the edge of the box, the referee blew the whistle and sent Al-Hafiz off, adjudging him to have handled the ball outside of the box. The replay showed that the ball was already in the box, but no amount of remonstration would change the ref's mind.

With a one-man advantage, PKNS smartly slowed the game down and took off Wleh for a deserved early rest in the final 20 minutes.

In the dying minutes, Aidil Zafuan who pressed up to help his team, almost pulled one back for the visitors through a half volley taken right in front of the PKNS goalmouth, but his effort went over the bar. The match finished 2-0 to the home side.

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