Paulo Rangel in a file photo. He scored the only goal in Selangor's home match against Pahang.
GEORGE TOWN: The Brazilian connection delivered again to steer Selangor to the top of the Super League after a 1-0 win over Pahang at the MBPJ Stadium.
A floated free-kick from the right by Junior de Souza in the 56th minute was met by his compatriot Paulo Rangel with a downward header into the bottom left corner on Tuesday.
It was the perfect tonic for the Red Giants, who slumped to a 2-1 away defeat to reigning Super League champions Lions XII on Saturday.
Tuesday’s defeat was the second in a row for Malaysia Cup champions Pahang, who paid dearly for their profligacy.
Pahang almost delivered the first blow after just six minutes when Azammuddin Akil met a Damion Stewart cross with a rising shot which bounced off the underside of the bar. But the effort would not have counted even if it had gone in as Azammuddin was offside.
Matias Conti also got close to putting his name on the score-sheet for Pahang but his dipping shot was tipped over by Selangor goalkeeper Farizal Marlias.
Selangor were gifted a gilt-edged chance in the 10th minute when Pahang’s last defender Zesh Rahman was robbed of the ball by De Souza.
The Brazilian went through clear on goal, but saw his side-footed effort blocked by the outrushing Pahang goalkeeper Khairul Azhan.
Selangor were almost caught with their pants down at the half hour mark when they failed to pick up R. Gopinathan on their radar.
The Pahang left winger broke into one of his trademark lung-busting runs from inside his own half, but his team-mates failed to match his pace and his effort came to nought.
The Red Giants’ defence was again caught napping just before half-time but the unmarked Azidan Sarudin failed to capitalise as he scooped the ball over the bar.
Selangor started the second half on the front foot, and were rewarded for their adventurous play in the 56th minute when their two Brazilians combined for the winning goal.
Pahang pushed forward for the equaliser, with their best chance coming in the 83rd minute. Another Gopinathan run and cross was cut out in the nick of time by defender Azmi Muslim, while an unmarked Fauzi Roslan lurked at the far post.