Khairul Asyraf Sahizah of Perak (top) vies for the ball with a Perlis player during the Sukma football semi-final match on Sunday. Perak won 3-2 with Khairul scoring a double. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/ The Star
KANGAR: Striker Khairul Asyraf Sahizah emerged as the hero for Perak after handing his side a 3-2 win over 10-man Perlis in the semi-final of the Sukma football competition at the Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium.
Khairul powered a header in the 73rd minute to complete a come-from-behind win over favourites Perlis in Sunday night’s game.
The hosts raced ahead with Mohamad Syafiq Azmi’s opener in the sixth minute but Khairul kept The Seladang in the game with the equaliser in the 25th minute.
Syafiq put Perlis back on top in the 32nd minute to give his side a one-goal half-time lead.
But Perak emerged hungrier in the second half and pinned Perlis back with their high tempo attacking game.
Their effort bore fruit when skipper Muhammad Rafiq Faeez Muhammad converted a spot kick in the 59th minute after winger Mohamad Hafiz Ramdan was scythed down in the box.
Khairul then made sure Perak enter the Sukma final for the second time in a row with a low header which proved to be the winner.
Perlis were later reduced to 10 men after winger Mohd Ikmal Ibrahim was sent off in the 90th minute after picking up his second booking.
Perak last won the gold medal at the 2002 Games in Sabah, beating Penang 3-1 in the final.
Perak will take on Johor, who beat Kedah 1-0 in the other semi-final, for the title at the same venue on Tuesday.