BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
The return to the Shah Alam Stadium brought a change of fortune to the Red Giants, after they defeated high-flying T-Team 2-1 on Wednesday night, to leapfrog the Titans to the third place in the Super League.
Selangor headed into the match from the fourth position, while T-Team third level on 15 points, and with league leaders and second-placed Felda United and JDT running away from the pack with both on 21 points, it was evident that both teams needed all three points from the match, played at the Shah Alam Stadium which was operational again after a few months of repair work on the pitch.
Selangor head coach Zainal Abidin Hassan fielded his usual starting lineup save for midfielder Nazmi Faiz Mansor who was serving a suspension incurred during their previous match, who was replaced by Saiful Ridzuwan Selamat. Goalkeeper Khairul Azhan Khalid was also replaced by Norazlan Razali. Defender Raimi Noor returned to the starting eleven, on the leftback position.
T-Team head coach meanwhile got to field Malian forward Makan Konate, who was a doubt in the run up to the match. Also in the Titans' starting lineup were midfielders Asrol Ibrahim, and Uzbek import Dilshod Sharofetdinov.
In the seventh minute the visitors almost found tbe first goal following a corner kick, but their two successive tries were expertly blocked by Norazlan.
Five minutes later Ahmad Hazwan Bakri tried with a curler from outside the box, but it went just wide.
A minute later Andik Vermansyah tried with a low shot from the left after an exchange of passes, but T-Team goalkeeper Ilham Amirullah saw it from a mile away and punched the try away.
At the fifteen minute mark Patrick Wleh fed Azrif Nasrulhaq inside the T-Team box, but Azrif's try was telegraphed and Ilham had no trouble catching it.
In the 25th minute, Wleh had a chance to open the scoring, needing to only stab home a low cross from the left by Andik. His try somehow cleared the crossbar from five meters out instead.
Eight minutes later, a foul at the edge of the Selangor box resulted in a freekick, and Konate's freekick cleared the wall, but also the bar.
The first half ended 0-0.
Seven minutes into the second half, Hafiz Kamal had to come off limping, and he was replaced by S. Veenod.
A minute later, a headed backpass by centreback Robert Cornthwaite only turned into a though pass to Patrick Cruz, who then chipped the ball over Norazlan who barely had the time to rush forward, to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
But while they were still celebrating a minute later, the home team equalised, through the easiest of chances by Mauro Olivi, who looked like he only nudged the ball into the net past Ilham who barely moved to keep the chance out.
In the 66th minute, Kamal Azizi tried from tight angle after he was released by Takhiyuddin, but Norazlan was able to push the accurate attempt out.
In the 74th minute, Hazwan was taken off for R. Gopinathan, the Red Giants' second substitution of the match.
With 10 minutes to go on the clock, Raimi flew in for a bizarre tackle from the back. The referee Khairul AzuanKidam called for an infringement, but surprisingly only gave Raimi a yellow card.
Moments later T-Team made their first substitution, taking off Asrol for Shamsul Kamal Mohamad.
Wleh tried from the edge of the box in the 86th minute, but it was nowhere near the target.
The Titans then made their second substitution, taking off Takhiyuddin for Syuhran Zainal.
Wleh had another chance later, a better one, but his header was tipped over the bar by Ilham.
Zainal then brought on youngster Adam Nor Azlin for Andik, and Adam repaid the faith just mere moments later by scoring the winning goal deep in injury time. That was the forward's first ever goal for Selangor, ever since he joined them from Harimau Muda at the start of the season.
Selangor's win also allowed them to leapfrog the Titans to third, while keeping pace with Felda United and JDT in first and second respectively.
Norazlan Razali, Shahrom Kalam, Robert Cornthwaite, Azrif Nasrulhaq, Raimi Noor, Hafiz Kamal, Saiful Ridzuan, Mauro Olivi, Hazwan Bakri, Andik Vermansah, Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh.
Ilham Amirullah Razali, Abdoulaye Maïga, Kamal Azizi Zabri, Arif Fadzilah Abu Bakar, Hasbullah Awang, Dilshod Sharofetdinov, Asrol Ibrahim, Makan Konaté, Takhiyuddin Roslan, Zulhanizam Shafine, Patrick Cruz.