In what is a preview of the FA Cup final that will be played between Perak and Kedah on July 27 at Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Kedah inflicted a blow on Perak with late surges in the two halves to carve out an impressive win to keep alive their hopes of finishing second in the Super League.
Both team were without their respective head coaches on the day because Aidil Shahrin and Mehmet Durakovic were both away on the same Pro Diploma coaching course. And in their absence, an entertaining match was played out between the two finalists with six goals for the fans to savour.
Despite Shahrul Saad (28') putting the visitors ahead, Perak could not hold onto their lead heading into half time. Quick goals from N. Thanabalan (40') and Renan Alves (45') put the home side back into the game and Perak's assistant head coach Shahril Nizam was non too pleased with what transpired.
"We were in a dominant position at the start where we controlled the game and scored goals at the right time in the match. But on both occasions our lapse of concentration in the final minutes of each half cost us valuable points and allowed Kedah to come back to win.
"We still need to improve especially now heading into the cup final. Our finishing was not good enough today when we should have capitalise on the strong start we had on the match. The upcoming Kuala Lumpur match is another chance for us to improve before the final," said Shahril after the defeat.
Ronaldo Henrique Silva claimed an equaliser for Perak through the penalty spot in the 79th minute but Kedah would have the last laugh when Fernando Rodriguez claimed a valuable brace in the 89th minute and four minutes into added time.
It wasn't just the head coaches that were missing as Perak were also without the services of Leandro dos Santos and Amirul Azhan. The former's absence was keenly felt due to the physical advantage and steel that he brings to Perak's midfield.
In the final round of Super League matches next weekend, both teams will be part of the relegation fight as Perak will take on Kuala Lumpur in Ipoh while Kedah go away to Jengka to face Felda United.
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