KUALA LUMPUR: MK Land pulled off a stunning 2-1 win over favourites Perak in a Malaysia Cup Group D match at the Selayang Municipal Council Stadium here last night.
Indian international Bhaichung Bhutia was the toast of the Klang Valley club side when he scored the winner with a fancy flick from inside the box in the 74th minute.
Mario Mijotovic had given MK Land the lead in the 30th minute from a curling free-kick before Abdoulaye Traore equalised for Perak in the 34th minute.
The defeat was a blow to Perak who had earlier beaten Public Bank 1-0 and Selangor 2-1 in the group.
For MK Land, the victory was freshening as well as sweet after having lost 1-4 to Selangor and playing to a 3-3 draw with Public Bank.
High-riding Perak, backed by some 6,000 fans in this away match, started aggressively and their Liberian striker Frank Seator and Keita Mandjou from New Guinea had the MK Land defence working overtime.
Mandjou had the best chance of the half when his shot from the top of the box was headed off the line by defender Mohd Fairus Mohd Nor in the 10th minute.
But it was the homesters who shot ahead against the run of play.
Mohd Fairus was brought down by Chan Wing Hoong just outside the box in the 30th minute. And their import Mijotovic curled the free-kick past a stunned Perak goalkeeper Mohd Azlen Ahmad Jabri in the 30th minute.
Perak bounced back with a vengeance and drew level through midfielder Traore who headed in a cross from Seator in the 34th minute.
Perak could have taken the lead eight minutes later but Seator muffed his shot in a one-on-one situation with MK Land goalkeeper Mohd Sani Fahmy.
Then MK Land’s new signing Bhaichung, who was barely a threat to Perak throughout the game, finally showed his mettle when he cheekily back-heeled the ball past the Perak defence into the penalty box.
Unfortunately, Mijotovic was slow to pounce on the opening and wasted the golden chance to go ahead in the 65th minute.
But Bhaichung, who had fired blanks in the earlier two games, came good when it mattered most by firing in the winner against a team he played for two years ago.
MK Land: Mohd Sani Fahmy, A. Ganeson, Mohd Fairus Mohd Nor, Mohd Zaidi Mat Ail, Ooi Hoe Guan (Sharin Majid), Mohd Nor Derus (Azralan Azmi), Mario Mijotovic, Mijo Dadic, Bhaichung Bhutia, S. Saravanan, Nathan Raj.
Perak: Mohd Azlen Ahmad Jabri, Shahrul Nizam Mustafa, Ahmad Shahrul Azhar, Chan Wing Hoong, Frank Seator, Keita Mandjou, Abdoulaye Traore, Wirat Nom, V. Thirumuugan, K. Nandakumar, Ahmad Azlan Zainal.