Stylish move: Tanjong Bungah Rangers' Muhamad Benyamin Shahrudin (No. 17) chipping the ball past a Kesupen player during their match at the USM ground in Penang.
IT WAS a wet opening day for the Football Association of Penang as an evening downpour washed away two of its three FA Cup first round challenges.
The state knockout tournament, which was to mark the opening of this year’s league challenge, kicked off at two venues – the Polo Ground and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang.
But when the sky opened up and flooded the playing arena at USM, two of the scheduled matches between Synergy FC-Sungai Ara FC and Prisons SC-SPT Indians FA had to be postponed.
The only match that managed to see action was the Kampong Makam-Telok Bahang SC which was held at the Polo Ground.
Newly relegated Telok Bahang carved out a 2-1 win to check into the second round tournament.
One of two Division One teams, who dropped to the second tier Division Two League this season, Telok Bahang, struck with a goal in each half through Sharizal Yacob in the 35th minute and Mohamad Zulfadli Rusdi Zamri in the 71st minute.
It was enough to end the strong challenge posted by Kampong Makam SC who managed to pull one goal back through Muhammad Fareez Azhar in the 80th minute.
The waterlogged conditions at USM threatened to affect the second day action as one of the two matches between Tanjong Bungah Rangers and Kesupen had to be switched to another pitch.
Division Three outfit Kesupen, the junior side of former Division One League champ Medical SC, registered an upset when they beat Division Two side Tanjong Bungah Rangers 3-2.
Kesupen seemed to be in disarray when they failed to check Tanjong Bungah Rangers striker Mohammad Fazreezal Mansor, and was punished in the 10th and 25th minute.
But despite being left chasing the game, Kesupen fought back and wiped away Tanjong Bungah Ranger’s slim advantage by equalising through Noor Azman Mat Dali (15th min) and Ariee Ariff (75th min).
When Muhammad Rihuan Hadzir delivered the killer blow in the 80th minute, it was enough for the Division Three outfit to troop out with a victory.
Newly promoted Rifle Range SC, last season’s Division Three champs, however, were not so lucky as Suria SC powered their way to a 5-0 win at the USM pitch.
Suria adapted to the soggy conditions from the previous day’s downpour, and successfully prised open the floodgates when Muhammad Alifuddin Mohd Makhtar drew first blood in the 34th minute.
With Mohamed FAdzil Ali (49th min), Mohammad Zulkarnian Zulkafli (54th min) and Muhamad Azwan (78th min) claiming a goal each, and Muhammad Alifuddin helping himself to a brace in the 60th minute, it was enough for Suria to seal the match.
Defending champs Nibong Tebal FA were not to be outdone as they also checked into the second round after thrashing Chinese Recreation Club 3-0 in another first round clash.
The Nibong Tebal outfit, popularly known as the ‘Border Boys’, struck with three first half goals and it was enough to assure themselves the second round ticket in their title defence.
Taking only two minutes to size up their opponents, the Border Boys struck with a dream opener through M. Mugilan before Huswari Abdul Kadir delivered the second blow to put Nibong Tebal FA into a more comfortable lead in the 25th minute.
Former state striker D. Samuel Raj struck with goal number three six minutes later.
In another first round match, newly promoted Kampong Makam Recreation SC also carved out an identical 2-0 win over Jelutong SC to be assured of a place in the second round.