FELDA United moved to the summit of the Malaysia Super League (MSL) after thrashing Terengganu 4-1 in their sixth match at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium tonight.
Terengganu caretaker coach Mike Mulvey headed to the game with his head held high after defeating Selangor 3-1 at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium earlier last month. FELDA United head coach Irfan Bakti fielded a strong line-up in order to earn all three points in Kuala Terengganu with the likes of Hadin Azman, Francis Forkey Doe and Zah Rahan Krangar. Christie Jayaseelan returned to the squad after a lengthy lay-off from the beautiful game.
The MSL tie kicked off in favour of FELDA United when Terengganu midfielder Sharin Sapien was forced off the pitch after suffering an injury and was replaced by Joseph Kalang Tie.
The Turtles almost opened the scoring as Amirul Syahmi was clean through after a good pass from Gustavo Lopez but Farizal Harun sprinted off his line to clear the ball on the 7th minute. Joseph Tie was first to react when the ball was played from a corner but his shot flew wide.
FELDA United goalkeeper Farizal Harun was brought into action again after he was beaten by Amirul Syahmi, but the youth system product’s shot was blocked by Gilberto Alemão.
Hadin Azman could have broken the deadlock on the 18th minute after he played a smart one-two with Francis Forkey Doe but his left-footed attempt just blazed wide off target. The 22 year-old winger was disappointed with himself for missing the goal from 10 yards out.
Issey Nakajima, who returned to action last month with a brace against Selangor, was left unmarked and saw his shot fly a few yards wide on the 23rd minute of the MSL encounter.
A few minutes later, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha’s brilliant pass found Gustavo Lopez, who flicked it to Joseph Kalang Tie and the ex-Sarawak player drew first blood after his shot was deflected into the goal. Terengganu caretaker coach Mike Mulvey was extremely delighted with him for coming on to replace Sharin Sapien and instantly made an impact.
However, FELDA United immediately responded with an equalizer after D. Christie Jayaseelan headed in Francis Forkey Doe’s cross three minutes later. The former PKNS and ATM FC man clashed with Terengganu goalkeeper Sharbinee Allawee and Mike Mulvey was forced to make a second change, bringing on Amierul Hakimi Awang for the injured player.
FELDA United almost caught the home team off guard in the early stages of the second half after Lutfulla Turaev played a sweet through ball for Hadin Azman, whose effort went wide.
Gustavo Lopez saw his free-kick fly a few inches wide on the 55th minute of the match. Ismail Faruqi, who replaced Amirul Syahmi in the second half, could not regain the lead for his team as his effort from 5 yards out was valiantly saved by Farizal Harun in goal.
Francis Forkey Doe turned his opponent well to strike an effort from outside the box on the 65th minute, but it was calmly saved by Amierul Hakimi Awang. The Liberian was involved again as he set up Christee Jayaseelan a few minutes later but his effort was saved by the goalkeeper. A Ridzuan Abdunloh corner then deflected off the head off Yong Kuong Yong and it flew to the bottom corner of Amierul Awang’s goal. The defender, who was recently called up to Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s national squad, was extremely disappointed with himself.
Things became worse for Mike Mulvey’s men when Zah Rahan Krangar sprinted past four Terengganu players to toe-poke the ball past Amierul Awang to make it 3-1 to FELDA United. However, the Liberian midfielder was injured and was replaced by Ahmad Shafizie.
Francis Forkey Doe calmly lobbed the ball over Amierul Awang on the 78th minute to further cause some damage to Terengganu and the Liberian forward was ecstatic in mood.
The referee blew the final whistle to indicate all three points to Irfan Bakti’s men.
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