Premier League side Kuantan FA pulled off a sensational 4-2 win after extra time in the FA Cup second round over fancied Penang at the City Stadium.
The scores were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time after Kuantan striker Dao Bakary’s 89th minute header had cancelled out Mathias Cordoba’s 80th minute goal for Penang. Four goals were scored in the extra period – Nakata Keshunsake (104th), Abdul Malik Arif (109th) and Bakary (113rd) for Kuantan, and Cordoba again (111st) for Penang.
Here are five talking points from the game:
1. FAIZ DAMPENER
THIS was the first match for Faiz Subri since he scored that wonder free-kick against Pahang last Tuesday. However, the striker left the pitch on a stretcher after just 32 minutes. Faiz had one good chance to open the scoring in the 24th minute when he got behind Kuantan’s backline, but slipped while turning towards goal. The Panthers’ attack was never the same without Faiz, as his replacement Osas Ikpefua is still short of full match fitness.
2. THE BAKARY EFFECT
KUANTAN FA have found themselves a gem of a buy in Dao Bakary. The former UiTM FC player scored twice and made one assist. The Ivory Coast forward’s penchant for taking on opposition defenders head-on with his mazy runs and step-overs were a delight to watch. It is not always that the imperious Penang centreback Reinaldo Lobo is left chasing shadows, not once but three times, when the Brazilian came up against a Bakary run.
3. TURNING POINT
PENANG shot themselves in the foot in the final minute of the first period of extra time with the score at 1-1. It took three defenders to dispossess Bakary after he had weaved into the penalty area. Rather than kick the loose ball out of play, the Penang players tried to dribble their way out of danger. The result – Keshunsake stole in to prod the ball past goalkeeper Firdaus Muhamad. Kuantan FA’s confidence soared, while panic crept into Penang’s game and they conceded two more goals.
4. THROWING IN THE TOWEL
THERE was a peculiar spectacle involving a white towel, which sparked off a heated argument between the two benches during the second half. Kuantan FA’s Ljubo Baranin uses a white towel to polish the ball before delivering one of his trademark long throw-ins. The Penang officials took offence to the towel lying near their bench and they twice removed and hid the towel, only for a Kuantan FA official to find and return it to the side of the field. During the third time, a heated exchange of words ensued between the two benches. Fourth official Wan Zainudin Harun intervened. The towel was not seen after that.
5. LITTER BUGS
SOME supporters on both sides of the stands hurled plastic cups and ice cubes onto the pitch towards the end of extra time. Their ire was directed at referee Ahmad Tajudin Yusof and one of his assistants, whom the fans felt had failed to flag for offside in the build-up to Kuantan’s fourth goal. The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) usually slap a fine on the hosts for failing to take adequate security measures when such incidents occur. The irony is that Kuantan FA were the hosts. The club side chose to host the match in Penang to obtain a better gate collection. Now, they may have to face the brunt of FAM due to the visiting fans’ act.
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