PETALING JAYA: Two key players were suspended but it did not deter Kedah from showing a spirited performance in the Super League.
In fact, the Red Eagles showed no mercy as they tamed Melaka 3-1 at the Hang Jebat Stadium on Friday to move to second in the league with 23 points – just one point behind leaders Johor Darul Ta’zim.
Kpah Sherman was the toast for Kedah as he scored two goals in the 18th and 62nd minute while Baddrol Bakhtiar delivered the third goal in the 86th minute.
Melaka’s lone goal was netted by Stefan Nikolic in the 38th minute.
Kedah were without midfielder Fadzrul Danel Nizam and centreback Rodney Celvin Akwensivie after both were slapped with suspension by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) disciplinary committee on Friday for running foul in the match against Terengganu on April 9.
Fadzrul was handed a four-match suspension and fined RM10,000 for pushing the match referee while Rodney was suspended for two matches after he was red-carded too.
Coach Aidil Sharin replaced Fadzrul and Rodney with Renan Alves and Loqman Hakim respectively and was happy that his weakened team pulled off a win.
“At the last minute, we received news that Fadzrul and Rodney could not play due to suspension and we had to take a gamble, ” said Aidil.
“Loqman did well with Renan. We knew the suspension wouldn’t be easy, but the players rose to the occasion.
“The boys gave everything in 90 minutes, and it is exemplary, especially during this fasting month.
“We got what we wanted. It’s not easy to get three points against a physical side.”
Meanwhile, coach Zainal Abidin Hassan’s future with Melaka is hanging in the balance after the defeat as the club have given him only two more games before deciding on his fate.
“We can’t run away from pressure. When you are in such a state, you just have to remain professional. Until I am needed, I will give my all to work and fix the team, ” said Zainal.
Melaka are currently eighth in the league with 10 points.