JOHOR BARU: It was heartbreak for Kuala Lumpur as Perlis qualified for the quarter-finals of the Malaysian Champions Schools Under-15 football tournament for the Manchester United Premier Cup (MUPC) despite a 0-3 defeat by Selangor in a Group D match at Sri Gelam here yesterday.
KL managed their first win of the tournament when they beat Pahang 3-1 – but it was not good enough as a relaxed Selangor took it easy and Perlis squeezed through to the quarter-finals on a better goal difference.
KL and Perlis had ended their preliminary round fixtures with four points each but Perlis had a better goal difference of six for and five against. KL's tally was 6-13, no thanks to the fact that Selangor had whipped them 10-1 earlier.
Last year's winners Negri Sembilan are also back in the running with a 2-1 win over Sabah. They had suffered a 1-3 defeat to Perak in their opening match on Monday.
Four minutes was all Negri and Sabah needed to know their fate. Mohd Shafik Norizan gave Negri the lead in the 34th minute only to see Sabah draw level with a Mohd Dahim Balahim goal a minute later.
However, Negri snatched the all-important winner through Fadzley Iskandar in the 37th minute.
Terengganu also squeezed into the quarter-final despite losing 4-2 to Kelantan. Both the east coast teams and Group C leaders Penang had three points each but Terengganu got in ahead of Kelantan on goal difference.
KL manager R. Ellan Govan felt Selangor had done his team an injustice by restricting their margin of victory against Perlis.
“I am not the least surprised with the outcome of the Selangor-Perlis match. Selangor did not give their best against Perlis as they had already qualified,” said Ellan.
“But I am still proud of my team. We came here with the pride ... as a non-project school (under the ministry) and did well to beat two project schools (Victoria Institution and SM Raja Abdullah to represent KL as the champion school).”
Selangor took an early first minute lead through Wan Hafiz Wan Harun but then waited for 28 minutes for their second goal through Syanurhadi Arshat.
Sazali Suwandi slotted Selangor's third in the 67th minute.
KL scored after 16 minutes through Mohd Amiran Jamil but Pahang hit back to make it 1-1 two minutes later when Lee Khang Wei was on target. Striker Jeremiah Henry regained the lead for KL in the 34th minute and Mohd Shahrol Rusman got the third in the 55th minute.