SHAH ALAM: Terengganu emerged victorious at the Shah Alam Stadium after they defeated home side PKNS 2-1 in their Super League match here on Friday (July 5).
PKNS, who were without key players midfielder Akram Mahinan and centreback Rodney Akwensivie, was constantly threatened by Terengganu’s quick passing and one-twos, and couldn't get a hold of the game.
They were punished in the 34th minute when Uzbekistan midfielder Sanjaar Shaakhmedov scored Terengganu’s first goal, thanks to PKNS’ languid defending.
Realising the need for more bite in the middle, PKNS coach brought on K. Gurusamy for R. Surendran, and his presence in midfield steadied the team until the break.
In the second half, Terengganu had to thank their goalkeeper Ilhan Amirullah for pulling off numerous stops.
Kpah Sherman, who is the league top scorer with 12 goals, thought he had the first goal for PKNS, but his shot was well saved by Ilhan.
Six minutes later, Kpah received a beautifully threaded pass from Jafri Firdaus Chew, but his tap was superbly saved by the Terengganu keeper.
PKNS were indeed threatening in the second half and should have gotten the equaliser in the 67th minute, but Jafri’s stinging shot off a Sherman pass hit the crossbar.
In the 72nd minute, both Sherman and Jafri were left rueing their luck when their attempts were inches off the bar and saved by Ilhan respectively.
PKNS’ persistence finally paid off when substitute Kittiphong Pluemjai tapped in a beautiful cross from Tommy Mawat Bada to give the Red Ants their equaliser in the 83rd minute. It was Pluemjai’s first goal for the club.
Tommy could have been the goalscorer in the 86th minute, but his thumping volley from outside the box hit the bar.
However, all off PKNS’ hard work were undone when Nasrullah Haniff Johan scored Terengganu’s second goal when his header off a cross went past PKNS goalkeeper Farhan Abu Bakar.
The scoreline stayed 2-1 as Terengganu took home the three points. The east coast side are now sixth in the Super League with 27 points from 19 matches, while PKNS remain eighth with 20 points.
In another match, PKNP fought back to hold Kedah 1-1 at the Manjung Municipal Council Stadium.