Kelantan took the FA Cup
KUALA LUMPUR,May 20, 2012- : Kelantan finally got lucky the third time around.
But the Red Warriors had to work hard to beat club side Sime Darby FC 1-0 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last night.
Lebanese striker Mohd Ghaddar Mahmoud converted a controversial penalty in the 57th minute to win the FA Cup after falling short in the finals in 2009 and last year.
Although Kelantan took the Cup, it was Sime Darby who stole the limelight with a solid display which saw their skipper Es Lizuan Zahid Amir being named Man of the Match.
Many had expected the star-studded Kelantan to stroll past Sime Darby but the club side managed to raise their game and frustrate the Super League champions for long periods.
True to his word, Sime Darby FC coach Ismail Zakaria opted for a defensive approach.
Kelantan were also dealt a blow in the 31st minute when defender S. Subramaniam had to replaced after sustaining a facial injury in a tussle with Sime Darby’s Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh.
The Liberian led the line with distinction, despite the lack of quality passes to him.
The Red Warriors started the second half with more urgency and they were duly rewarded – albeit in a controversial manner.
Referee Suhaizi Shukri was quick to point to the spot when Sime Darby’s Fairuz Aziz was adjudged to have impeded Kelantan’s Obinna Nwaneri in the box.
Hitman Ghaddar, though ineffective throughout the match, had no problem putting the ball past Sime Darby goalkeeper Mohd Reduan Harun.
The match opened up after the goal, with Kelantan trying to extend their lead and Sime Darby looking for an equaliser.
Try as they might, Sime Darby could not get back into the game and in the end Kelantan got their hands on the trophy.