*Pahang fail to beat AFC Cup debutants Global FC
*South China hammer Yadanarbon 3-1
Pahang’ were jolted by AFC Cup debutants Global FC of the Philippines who held the Elephants to a scoreless draw in a Group G match at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan on Wednesday.
After the 6-1 mauling at the hands of group favourites South China of Hong Kong in their opening match in Manila on Feb 25, the Philippines club were expected to be at the receiving end against Panang. Instead, Global FC walked off the pitch with their heads held high – leaving coach Leigh Manson a very pleased man.
In fact the Scot himself was left stunned by the performance of his team at this level of competition for their first AFC point while Pahang coach Zainal Abidin Hassan was left stunned with the two valuable points lost at home which could seriously jeopardise Pahang’s hopes of a place in the last 16 from the group.
South China tightened their grip at the top of the table with another win – defeating Myanmar champions Yadanarbon FC 3-1 at home at the Mongkok Stadium in Hong Kong.
Pahang’s inability to find the net left a big question mark as it was supposed to be a stroll in the park for the homesters in Kuantan after their 2-0 win over Sime Darby FC in a Super League match at the same venue last Saturday and had knocked out Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) out of the FA Cup 4-2 on penalty kicks in a second round match after a 1-1 draw.
Instead it turned out to be a nightmare for Zainal and company as the Elephants simply failed to breach the visitors defence with goalkeeper Florencio Badelic putting up a sterling performnace between the posts.
Pahang were without their Argentine hitman Matias Conti while Nigerian Dickson Nwakaeme started from the bench. Skipper Razman Roslan watched from the stands to serve his suspension for his red card offence in the 3-2 win over Yadanarbon.
R. Gopinathan and Fauzi Roslan fired blanks on a night when the Pahang backline led by Jamaicon Damion Stewart and Pakistan’s Zesh Rehman was forced to work overtime as Global FC came to scoring several times but were denied by the woodwork or the alert Khairul Azhan Khalid in goal.
Meanwhile at the Mongkok Stadium, South China never looked back after grabbing the lead after 13 minutes of play through Lo Kong Wai. Mahama Awal got the second on 19 minutes before Daniel McBreen completed the damage in the first half with their third goal in the 38th minute.
Yadanarbon got their consolation goal through Zaw Lin Tun minutes before the final whistle.
AFC CUP RESULTS (March 11)
Pahang (Mas) 0 Global FC (Phi) 0
South China (Hkg) 3 Yadanarbon (Mya) 1