Sunday, 9 February 2014

New goalie helps Penang beat UITM in Premier League

Debutant goalkeeper Khairul Amri Sallehuddin will retain his starting place for Penang after winning praises in the Panthers’ 1-0 Premier League win over UiTM FC.

The 24-year-old Khairul, Perak’s second choice custodian last year, was making his first appearance in the Panthers’ starting 11 in place of the out-of-favour G. Jeevananthan.

Jeeva, the former Selangor and Armed Forces goalkeeper, received plenty of flak from fans over his performance in the 5-1 thrashing by Police a fortnight ago.

Khairul put in a solid shift against the university team at the City Stadium on Friday, and delivered a clean sheet for Penang.

“I will keep faith with Khairul for our next match against Perlis on Monday. He was confident between the posts and did enough to convince me that he deserves his starting place,” said Penang coach K. Devan.

“I made several changes, especially in defence, to face UiTM. There was a marked improvement in the performance but we still lived dangerously in the second half, after failing to get the second goal to kill off the tie. I will likely maintain this winning line-up for our next game.”

South Korean midfielder Lee Kil-hoon scored the only goal of the match from a freekick in the 11th minute. The win helped the islanders move up to fifth with six points from three games and, more importantly, get over the demoralising defeat against Police.

“I consider our heavy loss against Police as a one-off bad performance. It is not fair to single out one or two players for criticism as the entire team played badly that day.

“By bouncing back against UiTM, we put the defeat behind us and restored the team’s confidence. This win is for the fans and the FAP (Football Association of Penang), who gave us full support when we were down,” said Devan.

Besides Khairul, another player who featured the full 90 minutes for the first time was Angolan forward Titi Buengo.

Although the towering striker failed to score, Devan was happy with Buengo’s contribution.

“I did not start Titi before this as he was not match fit when he joined us. He was brilliant against UiTM, especially in the first half. He looked tired in the final 20 minutes but I’m confident he’ll get better with more matches under his belt.”

For UiTM, the first defeat in three matches leaves them in seventh spot on four points. They are now five points behind leaders Police, who maintained their 100% start to the season with a 1-0 home win over Sabah.

Sabah are one of three teams, together with DRB-Hicom and Perlis, without any points after three rounds of Premier League matches.

Police beat Sabah to remain top of Premier League

Police remain top of the Premier League after left-back Sabre Mat Abu scored the only goal of the match three minutes after the break in a 1-0 win over Sabah at the Petaling Jaya Stadium.

Negri Sembilan moved into second place after beating Felda United 2-1 in Paroi thanks to goals by Jean-Emmanuel Owona with a free-kick in the 21st minute and S. Sivanesan (32nd) while Indra Putra Mahayuddin replied for Felda in the 68th.

Sarawak beat PKNS to maintain good form

Sarawak shot to the top of the Super League for a while after beating PKNS 2-0 as a late Hafiz Kamal goal gave Malaysia Cup champions Pahang a 3-2 win over Darul Ta'zim  in Kuantan yesterday.

Promoted side Sarawak joined six teams on six points to lead only on goals scored after fans flooded the Selayang Stadium and saw their team go 2-0 up inside 16 minutes thanks to two long throw-ins by Ronny Harun.

Milorad Janjus headed in the first in the ninth minute past an unsighted PKNS goalkeeper Zamir Selamat before Gabor Gyepes repeated the trick seven minutes later.

Joseph Kalang Tie thought he made it 3-0 when he had the ball in the net in the 49th minute but it was correctly ruled out when he handled it in the process.

Janjus then missed a sitter, blazing over the bar when Zamir could only parry Ashru Chuchu's shot before the goalkeeper denied the Serbian from point-blank range.

At the other end, Fadzley Rahim's fingertips steered PKNS hot-shot Patrick Wleh's drive wide before Gyepes' goalline clearance denied the Liberian.

Fadzley tipped Khairu Azrin Razali's looping header against the bar in the 82nd minute to deny PKNS a consolation.

Fans were segregated by barbed wire at the Darulmakmur Stadium as star-studded Darul Ta'zim's winless run in the league extended to three matches.

Hafiz struck deep into stoppage-time when he connected to Azidan Sarudin's free-kick to send the home fans wild.

Argentinian Matias Conti gave Pahang the lead in the 13th minute when he capitalised on a mix up in the visitors' defence to slot the ball past on-rushing goalkeeper Norazlan Razali.

Pahang almost made it 2-0 seven minutes later when Fauzi Roslan's header rattled the Darul Ta'zim crossbar, a miss which proved costly as Pablo Aimar turned in Amri Yahyah's pass for the equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

However, Fauzi Roslan restored the lead for Pahang two minutes into the second half before substitute Safee Sali drew the visitors level with his first goal of the season in the 73rd minute.

T-Team gives statements to Police over assault

Terengganu police have recorded statements from 17 officials and players from T-Team over the incident at the Larkin Stadium on Feb 1.

Terengganu police chief Datuk Jamshah Mustapa said the statements awould be submitted to Bukit Aman for further investigations.

“We recorded statements from those in Terengganu as soon as we received a report from the players and the management of the team,” he told reporters after launching a motorcycle patrol unit (URB) here on Sunday.

Last Sunday, T-Team striker Evaldo Goncalves, defender Fabio Flor de Azevado, fitness coach Stefano Impagliazzo and chief operating officer Mohd Syahrizan Mohd Zain lodged reports at the Kuala Terengganu district police headquarters.

Goncalves alleged that he was punched in the nose by a top Johor FA official while Impagliazzo claimed he was

kicked in the groin by the official’s escort in the Larkin Stadium tunnel during the FA Cup second-round match, As a result T-Team abandoned the match, refusing to come out after half-time, citing “security reasons”.

On Monday, the Johor Football Association (JFA) also lodged a police report alleging JDT coach Cesar Jimenez was assaulted by a fitness coach and a striker from T-Team.

On Thursday, JDT were awarded a 3-0 win by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), qualifying them for the FA Cup quarter-finals.