KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 – Brazilian Casagrande hit a brace with his deadly headers as Super League newcomers Penang FC thrashed seasoned campaigners Terengganu FC 4-1 at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak, Kuala Terengganu on Saturday.
It was vintage Casagrande as he nodded in high-quality headers past Terengganu goalkeeper Suhaimi Husin in a spate of three minutes, (66th and 68th minutes) for a glorious win that sent Penang to third in the league standings with 22 points from 11 matches.
Terengganu slipped to the fourth spot 21 points from the same number of matches. Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) tops the standings with 24 points with Kedah second, one point behind the Southern Tigers.
Terengganu was torn to shreds and the painful defeat came in the wake of their 1-0 upset win over seven-time Super League champions JDT in Johor Bahru last week.
The Turtles probably thought Super League rookies Penang would be easy meat but it turned out to be a costly mistake for the East Coast hopefuls.
Their overconfidence brought them down to earth but Terengganu head coach Nafuzi Zain blamed the defeat on his team’s failure to cope with Penang’s set-pieces.
”We lost out in this aspect and paid a high price,” said Nafuzi.
Tajikistan midfielder Sheriddin Boboev opened the floodgates for Penang when the 22-year-old found the net as early as the seventh minute. Skipper Endrick Dos Santos made it 2-0 after 21 minutes.
Hakimi Abdullah, who scored the winner against JDT last week, pulled one back for the Turtles on the hour mark but that was as far as Terengganu could go before Casagrande got into his scoring act to take his tally to seven goals.
It also rained goals at the Darulmakmur Stadium in Kuantan, as Sri Pahang whipped UiTM FC 5-0 in the battle of the two bottom teams.
The Elephants opened the scoring after only 50 seconds through Lee Tuck. Pedro Henrique (34th), Baqiuddin Shamsudin (66th), Herold Goulon (71st, penalty), and an own goal by Fami Rizam (73rd) completed the scoreline.
Despite the big win, Sri Pahang remains 11th in the league with eight points from 11 matches with UiTM FC, at the bottom with one point from the same number of matches.