# Red Eagles down 10-man Pahang 3-2 in a thriller at Shah Alam

# Franciso Insa’s red card cost Pahang dearly


There was plenty of drama as Kedah snatched a 3-2 win over gritty 10-man Pahang in the FA Cup final played at the Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday.

Despite the defeat Pahang held their heads high in a final which would have gone either way if not for the sacking of their naturalised Spaniard Franciso Insa who paid a heavy price for two yellow cards. Known for his cynical tackles Insa was duly sent off for an early shower after only 30 minutes.

By that time Kedah had taken a 20th minute lead through their Danish ace Ken Ilso Larsen. The Dane chested in a cross from the left by the hardworking Syazwan Zainon. The enterprising Syazwan, always a danger when in possession outwitted Pahang skipper Mathew Davies before laying the killer cross.

Pahang refused to buckle despite the numerical disadvantage and five minutes of added time in the first-half produced two goals for each team and the drama kicked in with a clear message from Dollah Salleh’s men.

First Kedah’s Baddrol Bakhtiar stretched his team’s lead to 2-0 from a low cross by Ken Ilso on the left as Pahang keeper Wan Azraie Wan Teh was caught stranded. If Kedah thought they will have an easy ride in the final the Elephants showed their fighting stuff.

Three minutes into added time Pahang earned a corner and once again their Korean centreback, who netted a goal in the 2-1 win over Negri Sembilan in the return-leg semi-final, made it count to put Pahang back in the hunt.

The Korean’s attempt from the top of the box hit Kedah’s Sandro da Silva Mendoca and the ball took a loop and dipped into the net past a stunned Kedah keeper Ifwat Akmal. Kedah 2-1 at half-time.

Kedah stretched their lead further and it was 3-1 on 73 minutes. Again it was Baddrol who got his name into the scoresheet with his second on the night – drilling home a low drive that went past the outstretched hands of Azraie.

Pahang were not finished yet. The Elephants were back in the picture by the 79th minute with Gambian planting home a power packed header from a cross by newcomer Yamil Romero. The Argentine was making his Malaysian debut after being signed up during the second transfer window.

Pahang had two golden chances in the dying minutes but Matheus Alves and company failed to make it count as Kedah held on for a win. Baddrol was also named the Man of the Match in the final.

While Kedah celebrated Pahang were crestfallen. Things would have been different if only both teams were numerically balanced on the field.

Pahang coach Dollah praised his bunch of fighters, knowing they gave their best despite the odds.



Kedah   3     Pahang   2

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