PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s campaign in the AFC Cup competition has come to an abrupt end following 10-man Selangor’s 1-0 defeat to Arema FC of Indonesia.
It was the end of the road for the Red Giants after they went down fighting against the Indonesian side in their penultimate Group F fixture at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, Indonesia, on Wednesday.
Argentine Gustavo Lopez scored the winner from the spotkick in the 43rd minute, which enabled Arema and Vietnamese side Hanoi T&T to advance to the next round with 10 and 12 points respectively.
Selangor, with five points, needed a draw to keep their hopes alive but were unfortunate to concede a penalty after defender Muhd Shahrom Abdul Kalam denied Cristian Gonzales’ goal-bound shot by using his hand in the 42nd minute.
Lopez beat Selangor goalkeeper Mohd Farizal Marlias from the spotkick while Muhd Shahrom was sent off with a direct red card. Selangor will wrap up their fixtures against bottom-placed Maziya SC of Maldives on April 23.
Kelantan, in Group G, are the other team which failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.