PETALING JAYA (By K. RAJAN): Selangor coach Irfan Bakti heaped praises on his players for their come-from-behind win over Armed Forces in the first round of the FA Cup at the Shah Alam Stadium on Friday.
Selangor prevailed 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out after the teams were tied 2-2 after extra-time.
Forces raced ahead with Marlon Alex James and Mohd Affize Faisal scoring in the first half but the Red Giant’s super sub Afiq Azmi fired a brace to force extra-time and eventually a penalty shoot-out.
The Klang Valley giants goalkeeper Norazlan Razali was the hero in the shoot-out as he saved attempts from K. Rueben, Bruno Martelotto and Afize. Selangor’s Raimi Mohd Nor blazed his kick over the bar.
Irfan who was without injured midfielders Bunyamin Umar and S. Kunalan and suspended attacker Mohd Amri Yahyah for the match said his other players did well to step up.
“I need to praise my players after staging a comeback to win the tie. They showed great character to not give up despite trailing in the first half,” said Irfan after the match.
“We lost several key players through suspension and injury for this match but their replacements did an excellent job to win a hard match.
“I’m happy with Afiq’s goals. We now have more players who can score and its a good sign for us.”
Meanwhile, Forces coach B. Sathianathan said his team gifted Selangor the win although they dominated the proceedings.
“We started well but faltered in the first 20 minutes of the second half. We couldn’t handle their aerial threat and was punished,” said a disappointed Sathia.
“The players are disappointed with the result but we have to move on and focus on our next game.”
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