MIDFIELDER D. Kenny Pallraj’s 25m-screamer set Perak on the way to a 4-2 win over Federal Territories and a place in the final of the Sukma football competition at the MPK ground.
Perak, who will face Sabah in today’s final (8.45pm), are now a match away from completing a hat-trick of age-group titles, having won the Under-19 Youth Cup and Under-23 President’s Cup.
In yesterday’s semi-final clash, Perak went 2-0 up with goals by Muhd Nurridzuan Abu Hassan Saari (10th minute), M. Yoganathan (18th) before FT hit back with a Mohd Taufik Mohd Shukor brace (28th, 45th).
Kenny’s 72nd minute goal calmed Perak’s nerves and G. Mugenthiran sealed the win with the fourth goal in the 80th minute.
Kenny, who had also starred for Perak in their President’s Cup triumph, said this was the second time that he has scored from 25m out.
“I scored against Selangor in a President’s Cup match from the same distance, so it’s nothing new for me,” said the 19 year-old central midfielder.
“Our coach chided us for not taking shots from a distance in the first-half. So, when I had a chance after the break I just went for it and the ball went in.”
Kenny hopes to be as successful as former international and Perak central midfielder K. Nanthakumar, his idol.
“I try to emulate Nanthakumar’s style of play. He’s definitely my idol in the local football and I really look up to him,” said Kenny.
“I have been listed to move up to Perak’s senior squad for the Malaysia Cup. I can’t wait to play alongside him.