KUALA LUMPUR: It’s advantage Kedah.
The northern state came back twice to draw 2-2 against Felda United in the first leg of the Malaysia Cup semi-final match at the Selayang Stadium on Wednesday night.
And they’ll have home ground advantage and the two precious away goals to count on in the return leg at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar on Sunday.
Felda’s Brazilian striker Thiago Fernandes put The Fighters in front with a brace – in the 13th and 54th minutes.
Kedah came back via Sandro Da Silva (37th) and Chidi Edeh (67th) to keep their final hopes alive.
Both teams were without key players for the match due to suspensions and injury.
Kedah brought in the nippy Mohd Farhan Roslan in the place of suspended skipper Baddrol Bakthiar while Felda fielded Mohd Hadin Azman for the banned Indra Putra Mahayuddin and Mohd Khairul Ismail for the injured Christie Jayaseelan.
Fernandes capitalised on a Kedah offside-trap-gone-wrong to steer Hadin’s cross into the net in the 13th minute to put Felda 1-0 ahead.
Undeterred, Kedah fought back and got rewarded. Brazilian Sandro’s header was saved on the line by Farizal Harun, but the goal stood after the assistant referee signalled that the ball had crossed the line.
Kedah continued from where they left off after the break, but that only left acres of space for Felda to exploit. And that was exactly what Fernandes did in the 54th minute – scoring his eighth goal in the Malaysia Cup with a solo effort.
Felda’s lead lasted only 13 minutes as Nigerian striker Edeh struck in the 67th minute to make sure Kedah return home with two vital away goals.
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