PKNS 4 Kedah 4: Late penalties see both sides share the spoils
Kedah FA
PKNS never-say-die attitude saw them coming back from 1-3 down to draw 4-4 against Kedah

Kedah came away from Shah Alam Stadium with only one point after making it difficult for themselves against PKNS on Tuesday night. The Red Eagles lost a 1-3 lead and 3-4 lead to eventually drawing 4-4 with the Red Ants.

E. Elavarasan had to make do without the suspended Safee Sali but was still able to count on the attacking talents of Lucas Espindola and Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh up front. As for Nidzam Adzha, he also had to be without his key players in Liridon Krasinqi, Rizal Ghazali and Zac Anderson - and surprisingly Baddrol Bakhtiar, Fitri Omar and Syazwan Zainon were only on the bench.

The home side threatened first when Espindola dribbled his way in from the right hand side and released Matias Hadwa. The Palestinian's shot in the 2nd minute required a strong Khairul Helmi block to deny PKNS from taking the lead.

Kedah responded in the best possible way just three minutes later when Ilso notched the opening goal of the night. The Danish striker hit the post with his initial effort but quickly got at the end of Syafiq Ahmad's cross after the ball rebounded kindly to the latter.

After that the floodgates began to open as both sides went for the jugular. Wleh equalised in the 13th minute when he latchd onto a through pass and rounded Ifwat Akmal before calmly sending the ball into an empty net to make it 1-1.

However, the lead wouldn't last long as Syafiq once again got involved for Kedah. In the 16th minute, Syazwan Tajuddin trotted up field and deliverd a perfect cross for Syafiq to head home from for Kedah to regain the lead at 1-2.

The young forward would cap a wonderful first half for himself and his team with his second of the night in the 23rd minute of the match. His brace was achieved when he rose highest to flick home Sandro da Silva's corner kick.

PKNS were struggling to get forward with a non-functioning midfield that saw Elavarasan changed out the ineffective Nidzam Abu Bakar for Khairul Ramadhan but it was Kedah who continue to pile on the pressure. Ilso could have grabbed another before half time but dragged his shot wide after dribbling in from the edge of PKNS' penalty box.

Elavarasan made an immediate substitution at the start of the second half by bringing on Azmi Muslim for P. Gunalan as he looked to give the left side better protection against the threat of Farhan Roslan.

With the back line looking more assured, PKNS set out to reduce the deficit and they did just that in the 56th minute. Espindola had the awareness to pick out Hadwa inside the box and this time the Palestinina thumped the ball past Ifwat to make it 2-3.

Stung by the goals, Nidzam quickly brought on the more experienced Baddrol Bakhtiar and Syazwan Zainon for the fast-tiring Hanif Dzahir and Syafiq. The move gave Kedah's game a bit more balance and a new breath of life into their attacks.

However, Nidzam was also forced to bring on reserve goalkeeper Farhan Abu Bakar after Ifwat picked up an injury midway through the second half. That move cost Kedah dearly in the final minute of normal time. 

A PKNS move wasn't cleared properly by the away side and Espindola hammered home the rebound straight at Farhan who unbelievably allowed the ball to wriggle past his graps into the net for the home side to grab the equaliser.

That wasn't to be the final action as the referee awarded the penalty in extra time after Baddrol's free kick seemed to have struck a PKNS hand in the wall. Sandro confidently step up to dispatch the penalty with aplomb for Kedah to lead 3-4 but PKNS themselves were awarded a penalty a minute later which Hadwa converted for a final score of 4-4.

The draw means Kedah stays in third spot behind Pahang on goal difference while PKNS stays 10th in the league standings.


Comments ()