Penang Youth FC goalkeeper Niur Muhammad Alif Rosidi looking back in despair as Tanjong Bungah Ranger's Muizzuddin Abdul Rahman scores from the penalty spot.
A CHANGE in the venue and a transport mix-up got SMK Mutiara Impian’s debut in the FA of Penang Under-19 league off on the worst possible note.
The FA of Penang representatives had informed the school officials about the change in the venue as the ground conditions at the Universiti Sains Malaysia field were unfavourable after the recent wet spell but the players somehow still ended up at USM instead of the new venue at Polo Ground.
This resulted in the school having to concede a walkover in their Group B opening match against SPT Indians FA.
Mutiara Impian team manager Muhammad Firdaus Chew did not fault the FA of Penang.
“We were informed of the change ahead of time. But the players directed the bus driver to USM instead,” he said.
Muhammad Firdaus said although the players could still have managed to go over to Polo Ground, it would have been unfair to keep SPT Indians waiting.
The FA of Penang Competitions Committee has decided to shift the SPT Indians FA — SMK Mutiara Impian match to the Polo Ground on June 1.
To avoid any further confusion, the committee chairman L. Katherisan announced that all scheduled matches in the league would be held at the Polo Ground.
Other teams which played at the Polo Ground were Chinese Recreation Club, Telok Bahang SC and Mutiara United FC.
Last year’s runner-up Tanjong Bungah Rangers also played there.
They ended their game against Penang Youth FC with just 10 men after their goalkeeper Muhammad Zainuddin Mat Yusoff was banished for a blatant foul on Penang Youth FC striker Deryl Lim Yan Hong midway into the second half.
Penang Youth were enjoying a slim 2-1 lead at that time.
Their players Deryl and Mohammad Shahrul Indra Zulkifli hit home a goal each in the 25th and 50th minutes in reply to Tanjong Bungah Ranger’s sixth minute goal by Muhammad Firdaus Noordin in the sixth minute.
For the foul, Penang Youth were awarded a penalty but they missed.
Tanjong Bungah Rangers then scored two more goals (including a penalty) to troop out 3-2 winners.
It was not a surprise then to see Tanjong Bungah Rangers team manager Kamal Hashim trooping out of the field smiling from ear to ear.
“Frankly there is nothing more that I could have asked from my players.
“They had a their strong desire to troop out winners,” said Kamal.
In the two other Group B matches which were also played at the Polo Ground, Chinese Recreation Club and Telok Bahang enjoyed a winning start as well.
The Telok Bahang side managed to edge Belia 4-B Bukit Gelugor by a solitary goal.
In contrast, Chinese Recreation Club went on a goal spree as they handed Bukit Gelugor a 5-1 beating.
Promising Mutiara United FC also enjoyed a blistering start in the Group A campaign.
They ousted Timuran SC 4-0, while SPT Indians were handed all three points on a silver platter without having to take the field after SMK Mutiara Impian conceded a walkover.