Perak SEDC win ‘crazy’ match
PERAK SEDC blew a four-goal lead before surviving a comeback bid by Kuantan to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 5-4 win on Friday, thanks to a late goal by captain Shahrel Fikri Fauzi.
After 36 minutes, Perak SEDC were cruising with a 4-0 lead in the third round clash at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh but coach Abu Bakar Fadzim could scarcely believe what transpired next.
Aided by the award of two contested penalties, Kuantan fought their way back after both teams were reduced to 10 men and looked to have forced extra-time in the all-Premier League contest after Stefan Vukmirovic made it 4-4 two minutes into stoppage-time.
But there was still time for Shahrel to score the decisive goal, his second of the game, to send the 2,000-odd home crowd into delirium.
“It was a crazy and dramatic game but I have to commend my players for the way they did not give up despite losing a four-goal lead,” Abu Bakar told Timesport yesterday.
“I don’t think the referee should have given Kuantan two penalties because my own player suffered a bleeding nose for the first one and for the second one there was barely a touch.
“The decisions affected my players to an extent and they lost their focus a bit but they still managed to get the win in the end.”
An own-goal by Isskandar Zulkarnaen Ibrahim and strikes by Fadhil Idris, Shahrel Fikri Fauzi and Vincent Wiejl put Perak SEDC 4-0 up before two Ljuba Baranin penalties either side of Malik Mat Ariff’s 78th-minute strike set up the dramatic finale.
Perak SEDC, who had defender Ritus Krjauklis sent off 10 minutes after Kuantan’s Isskandar was dismissed on the hour-mark, now await the draw for the quarter-finals today.
“I’m not concerned of who we face next because we are a new team in the Premier League and to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in our first tournament is already a historic achievement,” said Abu Bakar of his young squad who have impressed this season after finishing runnersup in the FAM Cup last year.
Sarawak became the second team through to the last-eight after beating the Premier League’s bottom team Perlis 2-1 in yesterday’s early kick-off in Kangar.
Winger Abd Rahim Abd Razak headed in his first senior goal for Sarawak in the 25th minute before Mark Hartmann doubled the lead with a penalty eight minutes later.
Perak SEDC’s Muhammad Shahrel (second from left) takes a shot at the Kuantan goal in their FA Cup match at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh on Friday.