Macallum SC goalkeeper Soon Kim Hou (extreme let) keeping a hawk's eye on the situation as his teammates (in blue) go into an aerial tussle against their Kumbar FC players in their Division Three semi-final clash.
IT IS mission accomplished for Macallum SC and Rifle Range SC as they have secured the only two available promotion tickets to Penang’s second tier League next season.
Although there is still the FA of Penang’s Division Three crown up for grabs, both teams came out victorious in their respective semi-final games last week.
However, both teams did not have it easy confirming their place in the FA of Penang’s Division Two League.
It was especially tough on Macallum SC having to fight tooth and nail against Kumbar SC and later go through a sudden death shootout ordeal to decide the match.
With nothing much to separate the two rivals in their semi-final showdown at the Universiti Sains Malaysia today, it was not a surprise when they were deadlocked at least on two occasions.
The Macallum side had a dream start in their semi-final showdown at the Universiti Sains Malaysia last week when striker Chong Chooi Leong blasted them into the lead just after six minutes.
Their joy proved to be a short-lived one when Kumbar SC hit back with the equaliser almost instantly with Muhamad Ridzuan Mohd Noor striking it right just a minute later.
But the moment both teams tightened their defence afterwards, they were all square, with the score reading one a piece at the end of their 90-minute battle.
That forced the clash into a shootout decider.
Even so, they still failed to produce a winner as they were again deadlocked a 3-3 at the end of the five mandatory kicks.
The shootout thriller undoubtedly belonged to goalkeepers Syahar Nadzri of Kumbar SC and Macallum SC’s Soon Kim Hou as it was their superb saves in this showdown which further spiced up the clash for their respective fans who had turned up at the varsity ground.
The pressure was intense on both teams when the sudden death decider had to be played, and ended with Macallum SC trooping out as 4-3 winners, and with it their ticket to Division Two action next season.
Kim Hou, who pulled off two grand saves in the process, was hailed as the Macallum hero, with his teammates and fans hurling him into the air in celebration.
However unlike the Macallum oufit, Rifle Range SC, who were eager to make up for last year’s predicament of being denied promotion after being shown the exit at the same stage, made one effort count.
That one important strike came from hitman Muhammad Razi Musaddik Rayisi in the 72nd minute and it was enough to save Rifle Range the ordeal of what could have been a shootout decider.
The two teams are not celebrating yet as both Macallum SC coach Yong Woon Seang and Rifle Range team manager Ammar Naina Mohamed have ordered their players to put their revelry on hold.
With final showdown for the Division Three crown still pending, they would prefer their players to stay focused and add the Division Three title as the icing to their cake of success this season.