Pahang destroyed Melaka United 3-0 in a seven-minute spell in their first-leg Malaysia Cup quarter-final match at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka on Sunday to take a massive away goals advantage into next week’s second-leg.
For Melaka, it was a demoralizing defeat coming in the wake of reports that the players have not been paid their July and August salaries. It is also reported that their EPF contributions have not been credited into their EPF accounts – something that was kept under wraps from the public until skipper Shukor Adan took to Instagram to highlight the plight of the team.
Melaka did well in the first half with a scoreless draw. However, all that came undone when Pahang’s Namibian striker Lazarus Kaimbi plundered a power-packed header past Melaka goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat off an assist by skipper Matthew Davies. Pahang 1-0.
That was what Pahang needed to get into drive. Two minutes later the Elephants were dancing again – this time Wan Zaharulnizam Wan Zakaria drilled home the second goal after being put through by Dickson Nwakaeme. Melaka was reeling as Pahang’s confidence grew by the seconds.
In the 61st minute, it was Nwakaeme who raced off in delight when he headed home Pahang’s third goal off Mohamadou Sumareh and Melaka was buried in their own den.
The return leg will be played at the Darulaman Stadium in Kuantan on Sept 29 and Melaka is left with a mountain to climb.
At the Perak Stadium in Ipoh, international Brendan Gan blazed a 13th-minute goal to give defending champions Perak a 1-0 win over 33-time champions Selangor.
However, the one-goal cushion for the return-leg at the Shah Alam Stadium may not be good enough as the Red Giants can turn the tide against the Bos Gauros.
Meanwhile, PKNP FC (Perak SEDC) made the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals from Group B with a 3-0 win over Petaling Jaya City FC. The City Boys were crippled by the flu bug that saw their match against the Perak outfit postponed to Sunday. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH