KUALA LUMPUR: Cash-strapped Perlis showed no sign of let-up in their Super League title chase and scored a narrow 2-1 win over a demoralised Kelantan at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last night.
Goals by K. Soley in the seventh minute and Zuraindey Jumai in the 41st minutes enabled the Northern Lions to consolidate their position at the top of the 14-team standings on 38 points. Indra Putra Mahayuddin scored for Kelantan in the 19th minute.
Perlis displayed true professionalism even though their players had to take a pay cut, receiving only a half-month salary last month.
For Kelantan, it was more misery. They fell to their fourth consecutive defeat in the league since their failure to win the FA Cup last month. They have certainly not recovered from the penalty shoot-out defeat by Selangor in the final.
Nippy Soley capitalised on a weak clearance by Kelantan leftback Ahmad Azlan Zainal to give Perlis an early lead. Kelantan fought back and were rewarded with the equaliser in the 19th minute with Indra stabbing home a pass from Norfarhan Mohd.
Perlis regained the lead when Kelantan goalkeeper Shahrizan Ismail failed to field a free kick taken by Fauzie Nan, leaving Zuraindey with the easiest task to tap the ball into goal in the 41st minute.
Perlis’ leading goal scorer Mohd Nizaruddin Yusop came in as a substitute for Mohd Firdaus Fauzi in the last 20 minutes of play to add more firepower to the attack and he could have put his name on the scoresheet with a long-range shot five minutes from time.
At the City Stadium, Selangor edged Penang 1-0 with national striker Mohd Safee Sali scoring the winning goal in the 56th minute. The win for the Red Giants kept them in pace in second place behind Perlis on 37 points.