Featured, Football

PDRM 2-1 Selangor: Red Giants sent packing despite late comeback

Selangor have been sent packing from the FA Cup after suffering their first official defeat in 2016, falling 2-1 to the hands of PDRM FA tonight. The Red Giants were 2-0 down at one point, and despite Patrick Ronaldinho pulling one goal back towards the end, they were unable to latch onto that momentum and find the coveted equalizer.

Zainal Abidin fielded a strong starting eleven, retaining 10 players from the squad that defeated Sarawak earlier this week. The only change happened at the back, where Khairul Azhan was brought in to replace Norazlan Razali.

Predictably, they started the match strongly with Patrick Ronaldinho and Mauro Olivi showcasing terrific understanding upfront. In fact, both men combined to produce Selangor’s first clear-cut chance of the game on the 7th minute mark. But Ronaldinho’s attempt was parried away by PDRM’s goalkeeper, Haziq Nadli.

Less than seven minutes later, Ronaldinho had another chance after a brilliant delivery from Nazmi Faiz. This time around though, the Liberian forward could only manage to head wide off target.

Hafiz Kamal then fired an attempt slightly above the bar, before Maldivian forward Ali Ashfaq produced PDRM’s inaugural chance on the 28th minute, only for it to be saved by Khairul Azhan. But exactly 10 minutes later, the home side took the lead. Ahmad Nizam Rodzi fired home after being played through brilliantly by Safuwan Baharuddin, to make it 1-0 on the night.

Despite a flurry of late chances in the first half, the score line remained as PDRM went into the break with a slender lead.

After the break though, Azmi Muslim was introduced in place of Raimi, to add a little more attacking impetus. But PDRM showed no intentions of slowing down as Ali Ashfaq continued to cause trouble upfront. His shot on the 48th minute was tipped away by Azhan but 10 minutes later, the Selangor goalkeeper was left helpless as Safuwan Baharuddin headed home to double PDRM’s lead at the Hang Jebat Stadium.

Selangor responded by introducing Abdul Hadi Yahya in place of S. Veenod, switching to a 4-3-3. It did allow them to press PDRM’s defenders a little more but the Cops were more than happy to sit back and defend their lead at this point. Hafiz Kamal’s free-kick attempt could have reduced the deficit on the 69th minute, but it unfortunately sailed wide off target.

Ashfaq then missed yet another chance on the 73rd minute, before Patrick Ronaldinho, who has scored five goals in the MSL this year, striked wide on the 78th minute. But eight minutes later, the Liberian forward got his elusive goal to reduce the deficit for Selangor and make it 2-1 on the night.

There was four minutes left on the clock and the Red Giants began pumping men forward to push for the equalizer. But the Cops eventually held on to claim the win and knock Zainal Abidin’s Selangor out of the competition.

Other posts by