Tuesday, 11 February 2014 | MYT 11:27 PM
PKNS within reach of FA Cup semis
Tengku Hasbullah Raja Hassan scoring Kelantan’s second goal a minute before the break in their FA Cup first-leg match against PKNS. - SAZUKI EMBONG / The Star
PETALING JAYA: PKNS must have feared the worst when they travelled to Kota Baru to face FA Cup champions Kelantan in the first leg of the quarter-finals in their den – the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium.
Surely, even they would have been surprised to have lost just 3-2 to Kelantan on Tuesday night.
When the Red Warriors went 1-0 up after just three minutes through skipper Mohd Badhri Radzi, the Kelantan fans must have thought a thumping was on the cards.
Instead, PKNS picked themselves up and equalised through Liberian striker Patrick Wleh in the 22nd minute.
Winger Tengku Hasbullah Raja Hassan restored Kelantan’s lead a minute before the break while substitute striker Ahmad Shakir Mohd Ali made it 3-1 in the 83rd minute.
Just when everyone thought that it was all over for PKNS, striker Kim Dong-chan of South Korea reduced the deficit two minutes later.
That late strike has left PKNS coach Wan Jamak Wan Hassan the happier of the two coaches as he seeks to overturn the one-goal deficit in the return leg at the Selayang Stadium next Tuesday.
PKNS now need just a one-goal win to advance to the semi-finals on the away-goal rule.
At the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi, Malaysia Cup winner Pahang were also stunned by Police, before fighting back to draw 1-1.
Police, trained by former Pahang coach Dollah Salleh, raced ahead through Brazilian striker Charles Souza Chad’s 13th-minute goal.
It stayed that way until the 81st minute, when Argentine hitman Matias Conti spared Pahang the blushes with the equaliser.
The crucial away goal puts the Elephants as the favourites for the second leg, which will be held at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan.
At the Selayang Stadium, Premier League outfit Felda United were held to a goalless draw by Sarawak. The return leg will be played at the State Stadium in Kuching.