MALAYSIA CUP JOURNEY BEGINS WITH WINS FOR JDT, KEDAH AND PENANG

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PETALING JAYA, 7 Nov – It was heartbreak for Pahang in Alor Setar while defending champion, Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) struggled to a 1-0 win over newcomers Kuching FA in Larkin and newly-crowned Premier League champions Penang roared to a 3-1 win against Felda United at the City Stadium.
The drama was at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar where Pahang exited the Malaysia Cup through their own follies on a night when Dickson Nwakaeme muffed a penalty as the Elephants crashed to a 3-2 defeat to last year’s runners-up Kedah.
The Red Eagles swept to a 3-0 lead before the break but Pahang staged a fightback in the second-half – leaving coach Dollah Salleh a shattered man on the bench.
“We did not click in the first half…we gave away soft goals. When we ‘woke-up’ after the break, it was already too late to rectify the damage,” said Dollah who refused to be drawn into comments on Dickson’s missed penalty.
”This is football and such things happen in the game.”
Dickson sent his spot-kick crashing against the bar in the 79th minute when Pahang had pulled one back on 48 minutes through Muslim Ahmad via a header from a freekick by Nor Azam Azih.
Faizal Rani did score for Pahang in the 88th minute but it was too late for the Elephants but it was all in vain as Kedah rode on first-half strikes from Shakir Hamzah (17th), Kpah Sherman (36th), and Kipre Tchetche (44th).
Rookie Arif Aiman was the toast of the Southern Tigers at the Larkin Stadium when he netted the winner in the 19th minute to take the champions to the quarter-finals.
For Penang, it was another show of their arrival on the big scene when the Panthers outplayed Felda United with Anselmo Casagrande opening the floodgates after 37 minutes.
Felda did fight back to equalize through Nicolas Velez but Penang ruled with two more goals which came from Amer Azhar (62nd) and Lee Chang-Hoon (76th).

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