KOTA BARU: Pahang got off to a flying start in their Premier I football campaign when they thrashed Kelantan 4-1 in a one-sided match at the Sultan Mohamed IV Stadium here yesterday.
The Elephants sounded an early warning parading a formidable set of players including their new signing Helton Soares Pereirra from Brazil, who marked his debut with a goal in the 28th minute and a missed penalty in the 40th minute.
However, it was the home team playing in the evening match, which pulled ahead with the opening goal through Khairul Zal Azmie in the 22nd minute before Pereirra levelled the score six minutes later.
The Elephants turned on the heat after the breather with three more goals through new local signing Hairuddin Omar in the 60th minute, national Under-21 player Mohamed Fadzli Shaari getting into the scoring sheet in the 70th minute while Juzaili Samion added the last goal six minutes from time.
Kelantan playing without any foreign players missed a golden chance to go up early in the game when Khairul Zal's header hit the upright in the 16th minute. But he made amends and slotted the ball home form a rebound, which came off a freekick by Badrul Afzan Razali.
Pereirra clicked well with Hairuddin Omar upfront to score the equaliser when he flicked the ball past Kelantan goalkeeper Mohamed Shahrizam Ismail in the 28th minute.
However, Pereirra missed a chance to increase his goal tally when he muffed a penalty kick, which Kelantan goalkeeper Mohamed Shahrizam saved in the 40th minute.
Former Terengganu striker Hairuddin Omar put Pahang ahead with a perfect header after receiving a cross from Juzaili Samion in the 60th minute and 10 minutes later and Fadzli Shaari, who took off from the national Under-21 squad scored from another header to put Pahang 3-1 up.
Juzaili completed the rout with six minutes remaining when he sent a volley into goal from outside the box.