KANGAR: Zambian hitman Phillimon Chepita kept his promise and returned with a bang, scoring two quick goals to single-handedly take Perlis to a 2-1 win over Johor FC in a Premier I clash at the Stadium Utama yesterday.
With Chepita injured, Perlis were floored by Perak in the last league outing and also 1-2 to Penang in the FA Cup.
But the 22-year-old Zambian's wounds – both physical and mental have healed well and he showed it with two lightning strikes, scoring in the second and third minutes to take his league tally to six goals. The two goals were enough to put Perlis back on track and into second place in the standings as Johor FC clawed back to score a consolation through Jon Angelucci in the 66th minute.
Chepita had promised before the match that he would find his scoring touch again now that he has recovered from injuries suffered in a freak motor accident two weeks ago. He kept his word and gave the Northern Lions a dream start.
The Zambian left Johor FC side gasping as he struck twice before the visitors could even settle down.
Perlis forced a free kick on the right in the second minute and Chepita rose majestically to crash home a hefty header off a Khairun Haled's floater, giving former national goalkeeper Mohd Sany Fahmi no chance at all.
Before Johor FC could recover from the shock, the Zambian struck again. Dispossessing Idris Karim on the restart, he measured home a long ball the moment he spotted Mohd Sany off his line.
With Perlis in the driving seat, Johor FC were bogged down deep in defence as the highly charged Northern Lions came back searching for more.
Chepita, who had registered the league's first hattrick in his debut against Terengganu exactly a month ago, nearly repeated the feat when he had the ball in the Johor FC net for a third time in the 32nd minute, only to be ruled offside.
Johor FC, however, did not give up. After a pep talk from coach Ronald Smith, they came back strongly in the second half and Angelucci curled home a neat left footer after shaking off Perlis defender Adrien Jurad in the 66th minute.
Johor FC were back in business and looking for a point at least. Perlis, however, held firm to secure maximum points.
Perlis: Mohd Amran Omar, Wirat Nom (Sharudy Aziz), Adrien Jurad, Suhairi Abdul Karim, Mohd Kaironnisam, Nazaruddin Zain, Khairun Haled Masrom (Mohd Zulfakri Ashaari), Tengku Hazman Hassan, Rosle Derus, Phillimon Chepita (Feriza Ismail), Kelvin Musungu.:
Johor FC: Mohd Sany Fahmi, Bahtiar Othman (Tuan Kamree Yahya), Mohd Khaidir Dom, Henry Sampion, Rezal Zambery Yahya, Musa Hendrek, Zami Mohd Noor (Azmi Mohamed), Ivan Zelic, Jon Angelucci, Idris Karim, Eddy Helmi.: