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Wednesday September 18, 2013 MYT 8:21:00 PM
Wednesday September 18, 2013 MYT 8:23:52 PM
by joseph kaos jr
Terengganu's Jean Emmanuel Effa Owona leaps to avoid running into Kelantan's Azizi Mat Rose in the Malaysia Cup match on Tuesday. Kelantan won 3-1.
KUALA TERENGGANU: There was a sense of deja vu at the Sultan Ismail Stadium after Terengganu fell 3-1 to bitter rivals Kelantan in the Malaysia Cup penultimate group match on Tuesday.
This is the second time this year that the Turtles have been sent crashing out of a competition by their east coast rivals in a match filled with controversial refereeing decisions.
Fans, who packed the 15,000-capacity stadium over an hour before kickoff on Tuesday, were left fuming in the 37th minute when Jean Emmanuel Effa Owona’s goal was cancelled out by referee Syed Azhar Syed Kamar.
The decision sparked angry scenes, with fans hurling objects onto the field and forcing the match to be stopped for three minutes.
The goal would have brought Terengganu level at 1-1 but Syed Azhar, after consulting one of his assistants, decided that Owona’s freekick did not count as his team-mate, G. Puaneswaran, was in an offside position.
Although Puaneswaran made no contact with the ball before it went in, the assistant referee is believed to have ruled that the player had obstructed Kelantan goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat’s view.
Kelantan went on to win the match 3-1, bringing Terengganu’s campaign to an end with a game left to play.
On May 29, it was Kelantan who sent Terengganu packing in the FA Cup semi-finals. Although the Turtles won 4-2 that day, they were ousted 6-5 on aggregate.
Then, Terengganu needed to overturn a 4-1 first-leg deficit and duly did so by taking a 4-0 lead in injury time.
However, in the dying minutes, Kelantan’s Obinna Nwaneri managed to squeeze in a goal to take the match into extra time. Terengganu argued that Nwaneri was offside when he scored but to no avail.
Kelantan then finished the match victorious when Dickson Nwakaeme scored the winner. The Red Warriors went on to clinch the FA Cup.
Terengganu coach E. Elavarasan certainly feels hard done by again but he prefers not to blame the match officials for their latest defeat.
“The freekick went in directly ... so I do not understand why there was an offside decision. We have been down this road before. But we need to accept the result.
“Yes, these are important games but we cannot blame the referee for our defeat. What I can say is that Owona’s equaliser would have changed the flow of the game and the result would probably have been different ... but we must move on,” said Elavarasan.
Kelantan coach Bojan Hodak, however, would not comment on the decision and said that “my team played better and deserved the win”.
“I’m happy with the result and how we played. After we scored two goals, it was easier for us because we knew they would attack ... it gave us more space to counter,” said Hodak.
Kelantan, like the two other Group C teams Pahang and Negri Sembilan, have yet to book their place in the quarter-finals. Kelantan and Pahang are tied on eight points while Negri have seven.
Kelantan will host Pahang on Saturday while Negri will face Terengganu at home.
Tags / Keywords:
football, Terengganu, Kelantan, Malaysia Cup, Jean Emmanuel Effa Owona, Syed Azhar Syed Kamar, G. Puaneswaran
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