Proton packs off defending champions to set up duel with PNSB

PROTON overcame the odds and defeated fancied Emkay-NPNG 3-1 in the semi-final of the Football Association of Selangor (FAS) Super league competition at the SUK ground in Shah Alam recently.

Proton, who last qualified for the Division One final in 2002, were the better side and Emkay-NPNG, the defending champions, despite a star-studded cast could not match their fitter opponents.

Proton, deservingly took the lead in the 29th minute when Mohd Suffee Mohd Yusof scored past former international V. Murugan.

Despite trailing Emkay-NPNG did not show any urgency.

After the break, Proton continued to dominate the game and made it 2-0 when Mohd Amirul Hisham Ismail scored in the 77th minute.

Trailing 0-2, Emkay-NPNG, who were eliminated in the FA Cup competition, were desperate.

After several raids, Emkay-NPNG were rewarded in the 79th minute when former international S. Paidiya Rau scored with a header.

With the minutes ticking away, Emkay-NPNG went all out to get the equaliser but it was Proton who scored through a quick counter attack.

V. Gopi raced from the halfline and scored past a hapless Murugan in the 89th minute.

Proton manager Azhar Nordin said the win was a reward for the players’ commitment and determination.

“Emkay-NPNG were the favourites. With several former internationals on their side, they had the edge. But our players had grit and were not prepared to give up. We are now looking forward to the final,’’ said Azhar.

In the final, Proton will meet PNSB.

PNSB, one of the most consistent teams in the league, earned their ticket to the final when they edged PKNS 2-1 in the other semi-final.

PNSB took a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute when Muhammad Taufik Zainal scored. PKNS replied in the 41st minute through Azhar Sulaiman. However, PNSB who are the FA Cup runners-up this year, regained their lead when Muhammad Azfar Hamzah scored in the 71st minute.

The FAS competition committee will meet soon to decide on the date for the final. The champions will receive RM15,000 and the runners-up RM8,000.

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