PETALING JAYA: Selangor MPPJ's fairy tale run in the Malaysia Cup competition continued when they upstaged Northern Lions Perlis 3-1 in the Malaysia Cup semi-finals first-leg tie at the MPPJ Stadium last night.
It was super victory for the club side who played their hearts out to stun the State team who now have a mountain to climb to overturn a two-goal deficit in the return-leg in Kangar on Saturday.
Last week (Sept 13), MPPJ created history when they became the first club side to qualify for the Malaysia Cup semi-finals. They knocked out fancied Pahang 3-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.
Last night, the club side playing in front of their biggest crowd of 10,000 fans including the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Syed Sirrajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail, showed no nerves when the match proceeded.
Fancied Perlis who had white-washed Selangor Public Bank 5-0 on aggregate in the quarter-finals started off as the favourites to win the match.
But it was the Premier II team who raced to a 2-0 lead with goals from hotshot Juan Manuel Arostegui (17th) and Aiman Firdaus Tan (35th) while the visitors reduced the deficit through Phillimon Chepita (41st). But Bruno Sebastian Martelotto put MPPJ ahead with the third goal (84th).
Both teams started off on a cautious note and the first attempt at goal came only after 10 minutes with Chepita's glancing header going wide.
But once both the teams settled down well with the respective engine rooms clicking - it turned into an exciting affair with plenty of action at both ends.
And as expected, it was a real show of grit between the two Golden Boot winner's – Chepita from Premier I with 24 goals and Arostegui with 33 goals in Premier II.
Arostegui, a constant menace inside the opponent's half won a free-kick after Perlis defender Wirat Nom brought down the Argentine at the top of the box in the 17th minute.
And the lanky Argentine did not let the fans down when he coolly curled the ball low into the far corner of the net to beat the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Amran Oman.
The goal spelled trouble for Perlis as the home team, boosted by the lead, came charging for more and their persistence paid off handsomely when Aiman Firdaus Tan made it 2-0 off a neat set piece in the 35th minute.
Just when it looked like MPPJ were about to go on a rampage, Perlis punished them for neglecting the defence. Chepita lurking dangerously at the other end beat his marker fired a powerful rising shot from the top of the box past keeper Jamsari Sabian in the 41st minute.
Perlis, hungry for success after failing in the FA Cup final when they lost to Negri Sembilan on a golden goal this season, pressed hard for the equaliser after the breather and came close with Chepita and Lamin Conteh Jr.
Arostegui's fellow countryman Bruno Sebastian Martelotto was also on fire providing several neat through balls with his darting runs to catch the Perlis defence off-guard.
Then, with six minutes left on the clock, Matelotto weaved his magic to beat his marker and from the top of the box fired in a grounder which hit the post and squeezed into goal.
MPPJ: Jamsari Sabian, Haris Safwan Kamal (Annuar Abu Bakar), Abdul Raof Ahmad, K. Nanthakumar (Norhisham Ismail), Aiman Firdaus Tan, Juan Manuel Arostegui, Bruno Sebastian Martelotto, Kamrulzaman Yub Majid, Khairil Zainal, Zaidi Zaing, Yuzaiman Zahari
Perlis: Amran Omar, Wirat Nom, Rosle Derus, Khairun Haled Masrom (Azi Shahril), Suhairi Abdul Karim, Feriza Ismail, Tengku Hazman Raja Hassan, Mohamed Nazaruddin Zain, Mohamed Khaironissam Sahabuddin, Lamin Conteh Jr, Phillimon Chepita
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