Arema’s Alfaro Gonzales challenges Selangor’s S. Kunanlan in their AFC Cup match. The match ended 1-1. Picture by MOHD HELMI DAWI/Sports247.my
IT was not a happy 38th birthday for Selangor goalkeeper Hamsani Ahmad as the Red Giants let slip a 1-0 lead for a 1-1 draw against Indonesian club Arema in their opening Group F match in the AFC Cup.
Playing at the Selayang Stadium because the Shah Alam Stadium is undergoing renovations and upgrading, Selangor grabbed the lead after nine minutes through Paulo Rangel.
That bright start to their AFC campaign, however, withered as the hosts failed to convert the numerous chances that they created.
The Indonesians, with Cristiano Gonzales and Victor Igbonefo, who are naturalised Indonesians, never gave up and made it all square in the 73rd minute.
It came off a freekick by Bustomo on the left which sailed over the wall with Igbonefo putting the finishing touch with a glancing header.
An upset Selangor coach Mehmet Durakovic said: “We could have easily won the match by three or four goals but paid the price for our poor finishing. Still, I am happy with the way we played.
“We have to move on and look towards the next match which is away in Maldives (against Maziya SC).”
Maziya were at the receiving end in Hanoi in their match against Vietnam’s Hanoi T & T – losing 5-1.
Selangor, however, face a possible fine after unruly fans let off firecrackers in dying seconds of the match.