IT was a bad night for new dad and national No. 1 goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh as his two blunders proved costly for Kelantan and allowed Perak to snatch a 2-1 win.
Also known as ‘Apek’, Khairul Fahmi’s two errors – both from poor judgement – allowed Perak to score twice in a match where home custodian Razi Effendi was in his element and played a sterling role in their well-deserved win.
The 25-year-old, who did not play in the second round FA Cup match in Kota Baru on Tuesday, virtually gifted Perak the first goal as early as the 12th minute. He had asked to be left out of the match to be with his wife who delivered a baby girl a day earlier.
Kelantan coach Steve Darby said: “We have got to stop our ‘professional suicide’…giving away silly freekicks. It cost us dearly. All the goals came from set-pieces.
“We (that includes myself) got to work on this shortcoming and remedy it fast to get in the winning act in the league and also in the FA Cup.”
The experienced Khairul Fahmi completely missed a freekick by Mohd Noor Hazrul Mustaffa for Perak’s first goal, which allowed Sukri Hamid to stab home the loose ball into a yawning goal.
At the other end Razi was a confident man – denying Badhri Radzi, Mohamed Shawky and Ahmad Fakri Saarani with his good reading of the game and cat-like reflexes.
And when Egyptian stalwart Shawky finally found a way to beat Razi in the 55th minute, The Red Warriors (TRW) started looking likely to get a win in Ipoh but another blunder by Khairul Fahmi in the 78th minute put paid to their hopes.
This time an unsure Khairul Fahmi hesitated in the six-yard box and substitute Khairul Asyraf, who came on for the ineffective Zelimir Telkes in the 56th minute, rose highest to head home the winner.
With full points off Kelantan, Perak thus remained unbeaten at home, having beaten Terengganu 1-0 on Jan 25.
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