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Malaysia Cup

Kelantan take slender lead to Kota Kinabalu

07:14 EAT 23/09/2018
Baktyiar, Kelantan, Malaysia Cup
Despite facing one man less for an entire half, Kelantan only managed a slim win over Sabah in the first leg of the 2018 Malaysia Cup quarterfinal.

The match at Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium was by far the biggest crowd that the Malaysia Cup competition has seen this season. Approximately 13,987 turned up to witness Kelantan clinching a vital 2-1 over Sabah in the first of two encounters between the two teams.

It was the home side who struck first when Kyrgyzstani midfielder Bakhtiyar Duyshobekov ghosted into space inside the penalty box to head home the opener from a Nik Akif Syahiran corner kick in the 29th minute of the match.

Things would get more difficult for Sabah when Randy Baruh was sent off in the 39th minute after putting in a heavy challenge on the right hand side of the pitch. Despite being a man down, The Rhinos somehow managed to find themselves back on level pegging just four minutes later.

Another set piece situation from a corner kick, Kelantan found themselves in a defensive mess and after several bounces of the ball, Hamran Peter popped up to guide the ball past Faridzuean Kamaruddin to make it 1-1.

But that was not to be the last action of the first half as the impressive Nik Akif became a hero for his team when he converted a penalty kick deep into added time of the opening period. The midfielder who was kept by Kelantan for the tournament despite on-going preparations for the Malaysia national U19 side, proved just how crucial h

Sabah held on in the second half to ensure that no further damage were done and with only a single goal margin to chase, they will be fairly confident taking back the tie to their fort in Likas Stadium. The second leg will be played on Friday September 28.


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