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Sunday August 24, 2008

Double treble for Kedah

KUALA LUMPUR: Kedah made history when they sealed their second consecutive treble with a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Selangor in the Malaysia Cup final at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last night.

Kedah, who have already retained the FA Cup and Super League crowns, thus, confirm their status as the new powerhouse of Malaysian football.

But it took them a while to get going in front of the 50,000-odd fans. And that too only after Selangor had drawn first blood when Frank Seator put them ahead in the 18th minute.

The Canaries then turned on the power to floor the Red Giants with three goals in six minutes.

The champs: Kedah’s Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah holding the Malaysia Cup with skipper Victor Andrag after the Canaries beat Selangor 3-2 in the Malaysia Cup final in Bukit Jalil Saturday night. — KAMAL SELLEHUDDIN/ The Star

First, Marlon Alex James equalised in the 32nd minute before Nelson Sam Martin put them ahead a minute later.

Mohd Fadly Baharom completed the Kedah revival with the third in the 38th minute before Mohd Safee Sali narrowed the deficit in the 77th minute.

Kedah received a huge boost earlier in the day when they swept seven out of the 10 awards up for grabs in the 100Plus National Football Awards ceremony, where Kedah goalkeeper Mohd Helmi Eliza Elias was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP).

But Selangor did well in the early stages. And they were rewarded when Helmi, of all people, gifted Selangor a goal with his poor handling of the ball in the 18th minute, allowing Seator to nick the ball home.

Surprisingly, Helmi was a bundle of nerves throughout the match.

Luckily for him, his team-mates rolled up their sleeves and came out fighting.

Marlon James: Celebrating after scoring Kedah’s first goal

And, at the half-hour mark, Kedah nearly scored twice but Selangor goalkeeper Mohd Suffian Raman pulled off two brilliant saves from James and Mohd Khyril Muhymeen from close range.

Then came the two quick kills. First, James latched onto a through ball to slot it past Mohd Suffian in the 32nd minute.

Even before the Red Giants could recover from the blow, the Canaries went 2-1 up, thanks to Nelson’s first-timed shot from outside the box, which hit the upright before going in.

With the Selangor defence in disarray, Mohd Fadly punished them further with the third goal after Mohd Razman Roslan lost the ball in the box in the 38th minute.

Although Safee reduced the deficit with a clinical finish in the 77th minute, it proved too little too late for Selangor.

Selangor: Mohd Suffian Raman, Mohd Razman Roslan, Evans Chisulo, Ellie Aiboi (R. Surendran), Frank Seator, Mohd Safee Sali, Mohd Amri Yahyah, D. Surendran (Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal), Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Mohd Shukor Adan, Mohd Asraruddin Putra.

Kedah: Mohd Helmi Eliza Elias, Victor Andrag, Shafizan Hashim, Bernard Huggins, Marlon James, Nelson Martin, V. Thirumurugan, Ahmad Fauzi Saari, Mohd Khyril Muhymeen, Badrol Bakhtiar, Mohd Fadly Baharom.

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