PENANG: It was a 'goal-den' debut for Serbian hitman Petar Bazic as he fired home the all-important goal to earn Penang a 1-0 win over Negri Sembilan in a Super League clash at the City Stadium last night.
Bazic, who shook off a muscular injury that prevented him from making his debut last week against Malacca Tekelom, glanced home a corner in the 30th minute.
The win, Penang's first in the second round, allowed them to move to fifth spot in the Super League. The victory also avenged their first round 0-2 loss to Negri.
The homesters started passively and it was visitors Negri who showed more initiative in their moves. And they almost went ahead in the 13th minute.
Fed by Mohd Zaquan Adha, Rezal Zambery Yahya sneaked past Penang's Brazilian defender Mario da Silva and headed towards goal. Fortunately, Penang goalkeeper S. Shankar charged out of his line to bravely pluck the ball from his feet.
Negri paid for their folly of not keeping an eye on Bazic in the 30th minute. He met Zailani Jaafar's corner kick from the near post to put Penang in front.
Inspired, the homesters surged forward and nippy Rosli Azizan almost made it 2-0 five minutes later when he stabbed Safranko Jan's low cross just wide with only Negri goalkeeper Azizon Abdul Kadir to beat.
Penang brought on the speedy A. Jaganathan for Mohd Farizal Rozali to beef up their attack. And it immediately provided them the much needed thrust upfront as the former Nibong Tebal FA player was not only a menace on the left flank but was effectively spraying his crosses in.
But Zailani, who twice had the Negri Sembilan goal at his mercy, failed to make his attempts count.
Penang E&0: S. Shankar, Mat Saiful Mohd, Chee Wan Hoe, Mario da Silva, Zailani Jaafar, Nordin Kamis, Puvindran Naidu, Safranko Jan, Mohd Farizal Rozali (A. Jaganathan), Rosli Azizan (M. Prakash), Petar Bazic (Mohd Azrul Ahmad).
N. Sembilan: Azizon Abdul Kadir, Jason William, Mohd Khaidir Dom (Shahrizam Mohd), Ching Hong Aik, Md Zaquan Adha, P. Sivanathan, Rezal Zamberry Yahya, Anuar Jusoh, Idris Karim, Mohd Nizaruddin Yusof, Christian Beckamenga (Cik Hishamuddin Hassan).