By ERIC SAMUEL
PETALING JAYA: Liberian striker Francis Doe scored a brace to inspire Selangor to a thumping 3-0 win over Sabah in their second round FA Cup match at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.
The Red Giants worked hard to break the tight East Malaysian defence before last year’s Golden Boot winner Doe opened accounts in first-half added time. Defender Raimi Mohd Nor doubled the score in the 52nd minute before Doe sealed all the three points with his second of goal in the 86th minute.
Selangor coach Irfan Bakti described his team’s performance as “good” as they had several key players on the crock list.
“Our playmaker K. Gurusamy came on in the last 10 minutes of the game. I couldn’t have ask for more from them as they played under the blazing afternoon heat. The home team defended stoutly and it wasn’t easy to find a breakthrough until late in the first half,” said Irfan, who started without prized signing S. Kunalan (groin), Bunyamin Umar (knee) and Mohd Amri Yahyah (suspension).
Five-time winners Selangor, who finished empty-handed the last two seasons, are bent on winning a silverware this year.
But their passage into the quarter-finals is going to be tough as they are drawn to face the winners of the clash between Johor Darul Takzim and Kedah.
Irfan was also left lamenting the tight schedule facing the Red Giants.
“We’re going to face treble winners Kelantan next in a Super League match at the Shah Alam Stadium on Friday. This is an important game because a win will be a good morale-booster for the team,” said Irfan.
Their other matches include against Armed Forces (on Feb 19) and PKNS FC (Feb 22) in the Super League before opening their AFC Cup campaign against Kingfisher East Bengal FC at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, West Bengal, on Feb 27.
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- Coach Irfan says sorry to Selangor fans
- Selangor hope to solve striking woes
- Coach Irfan wants Selangor to fight for a top-three finish
- Selangor aim to swamp Johor FC