KANGAR: Perlis took two big bites at Super League champions Pahang to gain a hearty 2-0 victory in the Malaysia Cup semi-final first-leg match at the Stadium Utama here last night.
The Northern Lions were the more hungry side in their search for goals from start to finish. And they were rewarded early for their efforts with Zambian striker Phillimon Chepita putting them in front after just nine minutes.
Chepita went on to pave the way for Brazilian defender Joao Bandoch to hit home the other goal in the 73rd minute to give Perlis a two-goal cushion for the return match at the Darulmakmur Stadium in Kuantan on Saturday.
With the win, Perlis maintained their unbeaten record over the Elephants in four matches this season. Three matches were played in the Super League and the two in Kangar ended in a 2-2 draw and a 2-1 victory.
The other match, in Kuantan, ended in a 3-3 draw.
Last night's match drew a capacity crowd of 20,000 fans and they were soon shouting themselves hoarse as Perlis went punching holes in the Pahang defence with Lamin Conteh Jr providing the forceful drive from midfield.
It took Perlis only nine minutes to crack the Pahang wall. Chepita latched on to Conteh's pass to come face-to-face with goalkeeper Azmin Azram Aziz.
The Pahang goalkeeper managed to block Chepita's first attempt and the Zambian made no mistake with the second shot.
And the crowd celebrated the goal with fireworks.
The Pahang defence almost caved in again in the 20th minute. Yusri Che Lah collected a short pass from Conteh and shook off his marker. His shot had Azmin beaten but the ball went just wide.
Although Pahang had a relatively tame night, Anthony Milicic nearly earned them the equaliser a minute later. But the Australian saw his shot pushed away by goalkeeper.
Chepita had the ball in the net in the 34th minute.
He headed Adrien Jurad's free kick into gal but he was ruled offside.
The Northern Lions eased up on their pace in the second half and lived dangerously for some time.
Shahril Faizal nodded wide Indra Putra Mahayuddin's corner kick in the 65th minute.
And five minutes later, Indra weaved past two Perlis defenders but Amran was quick of his line to block the attempt at goal.
Perlis rose again to score the second goal in the 73rd minute.
Yusri played his corner kick short for Conteh and the Sierra Leone midfielder swung in a cross for Chepita to head on for Bandoch to loft the ball beyond Azmin's reach.
Perlis: Mohd Amran Omar, Adrien Jurad, Joao Bandoch, Mohd Feriza Ismail, Nazaruddin Zain, Mohd Kaironnisam, Mohd Faizal Esahar (Manzoor Azwira Wahid), Rosle Derus (Es Lizuan Zahid Amir), Yusri Che Lah, Lamin Conteh Jr, Phillimon Chepita (Mohd Khairi Zainuddin).
Pahang: Azmin Azram Aziz, Johnathan Bass, Shahril Faizal, Rosdi Talib, Mohd Juzaili Samion (Jalaluddin Jaafar), Mohd Fadli Saari, Azizul Kamaluddin (Irwan Fadli Idrus), Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Hairuddin Omar (Abdul Ghani Malik), Anthony Malicic, Simon Colosimo.