KANGAR: Golden Boot winner Phillimon Chepita stayed true to his promise that he would win the award again when he scored once and set up another as Perlis opened their Super League campaign with a 2-1 win over Penang at Stadium Utama last night.
The Zambian hotshot struck with the opener in the 22nd minute, then made one for Yusri Che Lah, who duly scored in the 62nd minute to celebrate a golden homecoming.
All Penang could manage was a lone reply through Australian midfielder Boris Ovcin in the 70th minute.
The omens were there for the Panthers who took to the field without Romanian defender Cristian Teodor, who has yet to receive his transfer papers.
Perlis, on the other hand, had a full complement of their imports, including last-minute signing Lamin Conteh Jr and newly-acquired Brazilian defender Joao Bandoch.
And Perlis came hunting from the word go and Manzoor Azwira almost gave them the lead in the fourth minute but his cracking right footer from 30m out was stopped by the woodwork.
The Lions completely dominated the proceedings and had the Panthers deep in defence for long spells.
The Penang defence caved in with Chepita drawing first blood in the 22nd minute.
Collecting a neat pass from Nazaruddin Zain, Chepita bulldozed his way past marker Abdul Aziz Ismail and his thundering shot from inside the box gave Zuraimi no chance.
Forced out of their defensive shell, Penang tried to make inroads but Russian marksman Viatcheslav Melnikov lacked support upfront.
Penang came close to conceding a second goal just after the restart when a cross from Conteh found a lurking Yusri Che Lah but his attempt hit the foot of the post.
Yusri, who had just returned to his homestate from Perak after a three-year absence, was not to be denied. After a neat one-two with Chepita, he knocked home the Lion's second goal in the 62nd minute.
Penang sent in the speedy M. Nagaraja and it had some effect. In his first touch, he raced down the right flank and crossed for Ovicin to pull one back.
That was as far as Penang went.
Perlis: Amran Omar, Adrien Jurad, Joao Bandoch, Mohd Nazaruddin Zain, Zainuddin Ariffin (Yusri Che Lah), Mohd Kaironnisam, Manzoor Azwira (Feriza Ismail), Tengku Hazman Hassan, Rosle Derus (Es Lizuan Zahid), Lamin Conteh Jr, Phillimon Chepita.
Penang: Zuraimi Hassan, Mat Saiful Mohd, Abdul Aziz Ismail, Chee Wan Hoe, Chow Chee Weng, S. Nanthakumar, Nordin Kamis (Mohd Hairulnizam), Ng Kok Heng (M. Nagaraja), Boric Ovcin, Azli Ahmad (R. Suresh Kumar), Viatcheslav Melnikov.