By K. RAJAN
PETALING JAYA: Selangor hit three first-half goals to beat hosts Johor FC 3-1 in their Malaysia Cup quarter-final, first-leg match at the Pasir Gudang Stadium last night.
The Red Giants raced to a comfortable 3-0 lead with goals from freekick specialist Safiq Rahim (11th minute), defender Bunyamin Umar (21st) and Mohd Amri Yahya (25th).
Johor FC reduced the deficit through striker Akmal Mohd Nor in the 54th minute.
Selangor ended the match with 10 men after Bunyamin was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 65th minute.
The win puts Selangor on course for a place in the semi-finals. The return-leg will be held at the Shah Alam Stadium on Oct 2.
In the other quarter-final, Pahang edged Lions XII 2-1 at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan.
Midfielder Hafiz Kamal netted the winner in the 76th minute when his speculative cross ended up in the back of the Lions’ net, much to goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud’s chagrin.
Pahang, who will play in the Super League next season, got off to a dream start when Fauzi Roslan put them ahead in the eighth minute. Their joy, however, was shortlived as Pahang skipper Jalaluddin Jaafar headed the ball into his own net 12 minutes later.
The Elephants now face a tricky return leg match on the artificial turf at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Oct 2.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s campaign in the AFC Cup competition came to an end following Kelantan’s exit in the quarter-finals yesterday.
Kelantan drew 1-1 with Iraqi Premier League champions Arbil SC in the return-leg match at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Baru to go out 6-2 on aggregate.
Kelantan fielded their best players but the match was a foregone conclusion as Arbil stamped their class by dominating the midfield. Any hopes of a fightback vanished after Arbil took the lead off a Sula Matovu strike in the 37th minute.
Although Mohd Ghaddar Mahmoud equalised from the penalty spot deep into stoppage time, the damage was already done in the first leg.
- Kelantan face two tough competitions in the next few months
- Pahang hotshot Azamuddin gets national call-up
- Changes to Cup fixtures
- Warriors get tough; FA Cup champions Kelantan release striker Nwoha
- Striker Shafie not satisfied despite scoring for Pahang