Selangor's scoring machine from Brazil, Paulo Rangel, notched a hat-trick in the last AFC Cup group match against Maziya SC from the Maldives in Shah Alam on Wednesday night. Selangor won the match 4-1.
PETALING JAYA: Kelantan will have a lot of soul-searching to do after a disastrous campaign in the AFC Cup.
On Tuesday, the Red Warriors were hammered 4-0 by Hong Kong’s South China in their final Group G match at the Mongkok Stadium to finish bottom in the four-team group with three points from six matches.
Australian striker Andrew Barisic was the toast for the Hong Kong side, with two goals in the 76th minute and in stoppage time. Lee Hong Lim (43rd minute) and Lo Kong-wai (81st) completed the rout.
South China ended their campaign in the AFC Cup in third spot with seven points.
Vietnam’s Ninh Binh topped the standings with 16 points, seven more than second-placed Yangon United of Myanmar.
Kelantan interim coach Zahasmi Ismail was magnanimous in defeat.
“Congratulations to South China, the team are very good – for me my team made too many mistakes,” he said.
The result caps an impressive turnaround in fortunes for the Hong Kong side, who were bottom of the group after losing their first three matches.
They, however, enjoyed a mini-revival after the halfway mark and picked up seven points from the final three games.
“I’m satisfied with our performance and I’m glad to have a clean sheet,” said South China coach Yeung Ching Kwong.
Kelantan had endured an eventful month, suffering three straight defeats and parting ways with coach Steve Darby after their 4-0 thrashing by minnows Sime Darby in the Super League.
Nigerian defender Obinna Nwaneri and Lebanese striker Mohd Ghaddar Mahmoud also played their last game for Kelantan in Hong Kong and will not be a part of the team when the M-League resumes on May 5.
Kelantan are languishing in the seventh spot in the 12-team Super League standings with 20 points from 14 matches. The Red Warriors will also be defending their FA Cup crown against Felda United in the semi-final on May 6.
Malaysia’s other representative in the AFC Cup, Selangor capped of their campaign on a high with a 4-1 win over Maziya SC in their final Group F match at the Shah Alam stadium last night to finish third in their group.
Brazilian Paulo Rangel again was the hero, hitting a hat-trick in the 32nd, 62nd and 79th minutes while defender Azmi Muslim got the fourth in the 83rd minute after Maziya had gone in front with Assadhulla Abdulla’s striker in the ninth minute. However the win was not enough for Selangor to advance to the round of 16.
Group leaders Hanoi T&T of Vietnam and runners-up Arema of Indonesia have long secured their berth in the knock-out round with a match remaining.