The ups and downs of Pahang football were exposed once again the defending champions fell to a 2-1 defeat to previously winless Lions XII in a Group A Malaysia Cup match at Kuantan’s Darul Makmur Stadium on Friday.
Despite the defeat Pahang advanced to the quarter-finals as Group A runners-up with nine points from five matches – behind leaders Felda United, 3-1 winners over Johor Darul Takzim II at the Pasir Gudang Stadium in Pasir Gudang, Johor.
It was Pahang’s second straight defeat at home in the Malaysia Cup, having lost 2-3 to Felda last week. The Elephants, however, bounced back to beat Felda 2-0 away before the match against the Lions. Pahang beat the Lions 2-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore in their first round Malaysia Cup group match.
Pahang were 1-0 up against Fandi Ahmad’s team after 13 minutes of play with Dickson Nwakaeme tucking the ball into the net after Azamuddin Akil’s cross from the right went past several legs before the Nigerian got his foot it.
But two headers stunned Pahang. Sufuan Anuar jumped high to nod home a header from Madhu Mohana’s cross, beating Pahang’s second keeper Nasril Nourdin all the way in the 52nd minute..On 85 miniutes it was Mohana’s turn to get hi name into the scoresheet when he planted a header in similar fashion for the Singapore outfit’s first win in the Malaysia Cup this season – win that came too late for Fandi Ahmad’s team.
At the Pasir Gudang Stadium, Felda United continued their rich form this season. After taking the plantation giants now known as “The Fighters”, coach Irfan Bakti has guided his team into the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals in style. Felda scored their goals through Zah Rahan Krangar (5th minute), Ahmad Syamim Yahya (10th) Raimi Mohd Nor (50th). Nicolas Delmonte scored for the homesters.
At the City Stadium, Penang slumped to another 3-1 defeat – this time at the hands of Kelantan in a Group C match. The homesters also lost by the same margin to JDT last week.
With the win, Kelantan joined JDT in the quarter-finals with nine points. JDT have 11 points after their 1-0 win over Armed Forces at the Selayang Stadium with Luciano Figueroa netting the winner after 19 minutes.
Kelantan opened scoring through Wan Zaharulnizam Wan Zakaria in the 35th minute. Penang made it all square through Luiz Ricardo (48th), However goals by Khairul Izuan Rosli and Francis Forkey Doe ensure the Red Warriors full points and a place in the quarter-finals.
RESULTS (Friday Aug 29)
JDT II 1 FELDA UNITED 3
PAHANG 1 LIONS XII 2
ARMED FORCES 0 JDT 1
PENANG 1 KELANTAN 1