SHAH ALAM, (Stadiumastro) – Selangor ensured their place in the knocout stages when they beat Sabah 4-1 in a Group D match at the Shah Alam stadium on Tuesday.
It wasn’t a particularly brilliant start by either side and Selangor, playing their third match in six days, looked tired compared to the Sabah players.
Sabah were looking for a result against the Group D leaders knowing full well that a point here will make the difference when they face KM Naza and Police who both lost to Selangor.
With former Perak player Wong Sai Kong and Zainizam Marjan leading the line, Sabah used their pace to their advantage as they sought the opening goal.
After a few half chances the goal finally came when Sai Kong received the ball in the box and laid in for Zainizam to place past Hamsani Ahmad in goal in the 33rd minute.
But with the fans and homeground advantage to them Selangor grew in confidence and in the 44th minute, Amri Yahyah was judged to have beaten the Sabah offside and cooly scored from inside the box.
The goal was a blow to Sabah not only because it came just before half-time but also because the linesman was nowhere close to the offside line to see that Amri was a yard offside.
Sabah started the second half lively but failed to have a clear shot at goal as the Selangor defence began to flex their muscle.
A pass from Khairul Anuar Baharum to Amri in midfield saw the forward beat a player before taking a shot at goal from 25 metres out but the ball was safely caught by Harold John who looked a pile of nerves otherwise.
Selangor then took the lead through Safee Sali who glanced in a cross from P. Gunalan on the left in the 61st min.
After that it was all Selangor, and they extended their lead in the 71st minute through Hardi Jaafar who blasted home from inside the box.
Selangor then slowed the tempo of the match and kept possesion as they exploited Sabah’s inexperience.
Selangor captain Amri Yahyah then got his second of the night when he chipped a diving Harold inside the box to make it 4-1.