Gritty Selangor fight back to beat Pahang

PENANG: Selangor staged a spectacular comeback to beat mid-table Pahang 4-3 at the Shah Alam Stadium last night. 

The hard-earned win allowed the Red Giants to remain two points behind leaders Kedah, who registered a 2-0 victory over UPB-MyTeam at the MBPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya. 

The Red Giants had to claw back from two goals down after going behind to strikes by Hairuddin Omar and Rosdi Talib late in the first-half. 

Just when the drab first period seemed likely to end goalless, former national striker Hairuddin pounced on an Azizul Kamaluddin pass to put the Elephants ahead in the 43rd minute. 

Heavy challenge: UPB-MyTeam’s Hasmizan Kamaroddin goes sliding in on Kedah’s Ahmad Fauzi Saari during their match at the MBPJStadium last night. Kedah won 2-0. – IBRAHIM MOHTAR / The Star

Selangor had yet to recover from the shock of going behind when Rosdi took advantage of a goalmouth melee to double Pahang’s lead three minutes later. 

But Dollah Salleh’s men bounced back strongly in the second period, with strikers Safee Sali (60th), Frank Seator (70th, 79th) and Akmal Rizal Rakhli (88th) finding the target to turn around Selangor’s fortunes. 

Hairuddin got Pahang’s third goal deep into injury time, but it was too late to save his team. 

Kedah continued their march towards the defence of the Super League title after youngster Mohd Fazly Baharom and the league’s leading scorer Marlon James scored in either half to clinch the three points. 

At the Perak Stadium in Ipoh, the home side heaped more misery on bottom-placed Penang with a 3-1 victory. 

The Panthers had started the game with the ‘number two’ coach Moey Yoke Ham and not chief coach Mohamed Bakar taking charge on the bench. 

But the change failed to inspire the islanders, who were outclassed in all departments on the pitch. 

Carlos Caceres was Perak’s hero of the night, notching a first-half hat-trick. 

He set Perak on the right path with a glancing header into the bottom corner after just four minutes of play. 

The Chilean doubled the lead in the 33rd minute when he played a one-two with strike partner Khalid Jamlus before beating Penang goalkeeper Mohd Faizal Yusof with a cool finish. 

Caceres completed his hat-trick in first-half injury time after latching onto a Danial Fadzly through pass. M. Prakash scored Penang’s consolation goal from a free-kick 12 minutes from the end. 

The triple strike allowed Caceres, who now has 15 league goals to his name, to replace Khalid (on 13 goals) as Perak’s top goal-getter in the Super League. 

Meanwhile, Terengganu and Negri Sembilan took advantage of Johor FC’s rest day to leapfrog over the southerners into fourth and fifth positions respectively on 33 points. 

Terengganu defeated Police 2-0 in Kuala Terengganu while the Deer trounced lowly Sarawak 4-0 in Paroi. 

Kedah lead the standings on 41 points and they also have a match in hand over both Selangor (39 points) and Perak (37). 

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