Perlis' Mohd Shukor Azmi (right) dribbling the ball away from Negri Sembilan's K. Divinesh during their quarter-final match at Sukma on May 30, 2014. Perlis won 2-1. – Izzrafiq Alias / THE STAR
KANGAR: Centreback Mohamad Qhairil Azwan Mohd Asri was the hero for Perlis in their 2-1 win over Negri Sembilan after his winning goal deep into extra-time dumped Negri out of the quarter-finals of the Sukma football competition at the UiTM Stadium.
On Friday, Negri raced to a 1-0 lead via Mohd Izzudin Zainuddin’s goal (10th minute) before the hosts came back with goals from Mohd Ikmal Ibrahim (46th) and Qhairil (110th).
The lanky Qhairil sprinted into the box to power in a header to the top corner from a corner-kick to send Perlis through to the semi-finals.
The teenager credited the win to the team’s indomitable spirit.
“We deserved the win ... we worked hard after conceding the early goal and managed to stage a comeback,” said the 19-year-old after the match.
Qhairil said he’s happy with his performance and hopes to continue to play a key role with the team.
Perlis meet the highly-rated Perak in the semi-finals on Sunday.
The biggest surprise came at the Unimap Stadium in Pauh, where Kedah thrashed neighbours Penang 7-0 to meet Johor in their semi-final tie.
In the other quarter-finals, Perak edged Federal Territories 2-1, while Johor knocked out defending champions Sabah 1-0.