PETALING JAYA: Kelantan hung on after being reduced to 10 men to keep their FA Cup semi-final hopes alive with a 1-1 draw against UPB-MyTeam FC in a quarter-final first-leg match at the MBPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya last night.
After the disappointment of going down 0-3 to Selangor in a Super League match in Shah Alam three days ago, Kelantan were bent on making amends and Indra Putra Mahayuddin put them ahead in the 12th minute.
National goalkeeper Syed Adney Syed Hussein brought down Kelantan striker Mohd Ramzul Zahini to concede a free kick just outside the box. And Indra struck home a stiff grounder.
But MyTeam equalised through Mohd Aslam Haja seven minutes later, punishing the ball-watching Kelantan defence with a powerful shot from close range.
Kelantan paid a heavy price in stoppage time of the half when centreback Ahmad Azlan Zainal was given the marching orders by referee Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh for pulling down MyTeam striker Stanley Bernard Samuel, who was goal bound with only Kelantan goalkeeper Shahrizan Ismail to beat.
Down he goes: Kelantan`s Ahmad Azlan Zainal brining down UPB-MyTeam’s Stanley Bernard (right) during their FA Cup quarter-final match at the MPPJ Stadium Tuesday night.
Although down in numbers, Kelantan enjoyed a good spell after the breather. Indra’s pile-driver from 35 metres out dipped over the bar when Syed Adney was rooted in the 48th minute. Two minutes later, Mohd Ramzul missed the target from inside the box.
Norsharul Idlan Talaha could have sealed the winner for the home team with a curling shot, which Shahrizan Ismail did well to pull off a brilliant save in the 85th minute.
At the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, giant-killers Harimau Muda went down to a 0-1 defeat by Perlis. The solitary goal was scored by Badrul Azam Zamri in the 71st minute.
At the Perak Stadium in Ipoh, Selangor defeated Perak 2-1.
National striker Mohd Safee Sali opened accounts for the Red Giants from the penalty spot in the 37th minute and skipper Mohd Amri Yahyah added the second in the 55th minute. Perak reduced the deficit through Razali Umar Kandasamy in the 75th minute.