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Friday October 18, 2013 MYT 11:16:00 PM
Friday October 18, 2013 MYT 11:38:35 PM
by k. rajan
Host Armed Forces lost to Kelantan 1-2 at the Selayang Stadium on Friday to hand the Red Warriors a one-goal advantage. - The STAR/ SS Kanesan
SELAYANG: Defending champions Kelantan will be rubbing their hands with glee after edging Armed Forces 2-1 in the Malaysia Cup semi-final first-leg tie at the Selayang Stadium on Friday night.
Kelantan went ahead through talismanic skipper Mohd Badhri Radzi in the 15th minute but nippy winger Christie Jayaseelan equalised four minutes later.
Mohd Norfarhan Mohd, however, had the last say for the Red Warriors when he netted the winner in the 78th minute.
Forces coach B. Sathianathan sorely missed the steely presence of centreback Amiridzwan Taj Tajuddin, who was suspended for the match.
The Gladiators must also thank goalkeeper Farizal Harun for keeping them in the match with several spectacular saves.
Forces began the match brightly and had more attempts at goal. Unfortunately, they were let down by poor finishing.
Kelantan, who were content to soak up the pressure and launch counter-attacks, broke the duck in the 15th minute. Farhan saw his effort palmed away by Farizal, but Badhri was at the right place to slam the rebound into the top corner.
Stung by the goal, Forces doubled their effort and Christie showed a sharp mind to rob the ball off Shakir Saari before unleashing a low shot past Khairul Fahmi Che Mat for the equaliser.
The teams continued to play end-to-end football but the first-half yielded no more goals.
The second-half was again a tight affair. Although Forces created most of the chances, it was the Red Warriors who snatched the winning goal in the 78th minute.
Norfarhan pounced on Forces defender Irwan Fadli Idrus’ weak clearance to send a well-placed shot past Farizal.
Forces will surely have an uphill battle in the return leg at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Baru next Friday.
But Forces can take consolation from the fact that they are among the two teams (the other one being Negri Sembilan) to have beaten the Red Warriors there this season.
Tags / Keywords:
Kelantan, Armed Forces, Malaysia Cup
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