Perak SEDC win ‘crazy’ match

New Straits Times - - Sport - Devin­der Singh

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.

PIC BY EFFENDY RASHID

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.

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