S. Kunalan (right) is challenged for the ball by an Arema FC player in Selangor's AFC Cup Group F match. The teams drew 1-1.
SELAYANG: Selangor were left to rue their missed chances after sharing the spoils in the 1-1 draw with Arema FC of Indonesia in their opening AFC Cup Group F match at the Selayang Stadium.
Striker Paulo Rangel gave the Red Giants a flying start on Tuesday night, scoring in the ninth minute. The Indonesians, however, secured a valuable point when Ahmad Bustomi restored parity from a free-kick in the 73rd minute.
To make it worse, the Football Association of Selangor (FAS) may be hauled up by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) after a firecracker was thrown into the pitch by an angry Selangor fan in stoppage time. Referee Wang Di of China was forced to temporarily halt the match.
Despite playing at home, Selangor coach Mehmet Durakovic deployed a cautious approach. He made several changes to his line-up, playing nippy winger S. Kunalan at rightback.
In one of their fast counter attacks, Selangor caught Arema by surprise. From a cross by winger Andik Vermansyah, Brazilian Rangel beat the visiting goalkeeper Kurnia Meiga.
The Indonesians then controlled the match but hardly troubled the homesters.
In the 52nd minute, Selangor could have wrapped up all three points but midfielder Shukor Jusoh missed with only Kurnia to beat.
Arema continued to surge forward and were rewarded in the 73rd minute. From a long free-kick, midfielder Ahmad fired past the ball-watching Selangor players and goalkeeper Hamsani Ahmad for a well-deserved equaliser.