Football

Published: Saturday April 19, 2014 MYT 3:48:00 PM
Updated: Saturday April 19, 2014 MYT 4:05:43 PM

Penang not giving up on Super League promo

South Korean midfielder Lee Gil Hoon (left) in a file photo. He scored Penang's only goal in their 1-2 defeat to Police on April 18, 2014.

South Korean midfielder Lee Gil Hoon (left) in a file photo. He scored Penang's only goal in their 1-2 defeat to Police on April 18, 2014.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang are not ready to throw in the towel in the fight for Super League promotion despite being bumped out of the Premier League’s top two spots.

The Panthers were dealt a huge blow when they lost 1-2 to league leaders Police at the City Stadium on Friday, with Ashfaq Ali’s winning goal coming just before the final whistle.

Felda United, who beat Sabah 2-1, leapfrogged Penang into the coveted second spot behind runaway leaders Police.

The cops totally dominated the first half, but only shot ahead in the 54th minute through Brazilian Chad Souza. South Korean midfielder Lee Gil Hoon equalised for Penang in the 62nd minute, before Maldives forward Ashfaq netted the late winner in the 92nd minute, just a couple of minutes after failing to score from the penalty spot.

“Losing to such a late goal is heartbreaking, especially after we had proved we could match the star-studded Police,” said Penang coach K. Devan after the defeat.

“I have no complaints regarding our performance. We were the better side in the second half, but failed to score the winner despite having three good chances. We will learn from this experience, and work on getting back into a good position,”

Devan was also supportive of his new Brazilian signing Luiz Dos Santos, whose presence was hardly felt before he was replaced by the lively Angolan Titi Buengo in the second half.

“This was just Luiz’s first competitive match in Malaysia. I am sure he will get better once he forges a better understanding with his team-mates.”

Meanwhile, Police coach Dollah Salleh was pleased with his players’ fighting spirit up till the final whistle.

“I thought the match was heading for a draw when we failed to score from the penalty. The winning goal came as a surprise and proved that we came here not for a draw, but to seek a win,” said Dollah.

“It is important to keep the winning momentum going. We are not bothered about the gap with the other teams. Our main aim is to win every match to secure promotion and bag the league title as soon as possible.”

With eight games to go, Police lead the Premier League standings on 38 points, followed by Felda (31), Penang (29) and Negri Sembilan (27).

The Premier League takes a three-week break and matches will resume on May 9.

Tags / Keywords: football, Super League, Premier League, Penang, Police, K. Devan, Chad Souza, Lee Gil Hoon, Ashfaq Ali

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