Kuala Lumpur: Kelantan created history by lifting the Malaysia Cup for the first time in the most prestigious competition in the Malaysian football league, after defeating defending champions Negeri Sembilan 2-1 in the final at the National Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Saturday night.
The victory allowed last year’s defending champions to end their 55-year drought since they marched into the final in 1955 when the Cup was known as the H.M.S. Malaya Cup.
Negeri Sembilan opened scoring in the 13th minute through a penalty kick by Shahurain Abu Samah.
Referee Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh gave the panelty to Negeri Sembilan after Kelantan keeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat’s felled S.Kunalan in the penalty box.
Negeri Sembilan kept the pressure on Kelantan through speedy attacks but they failed to break the Kelantan defence manned by Mohd Daudsu Jamaludin, Mohd Farisham Ismail and Rizal Fahmi Abdul Rosidi.
In the second half, the “Red Warriors”, urged on by at least 60,000 supporters to find the goal, kept charging at their opponents’ goalmouth and eventually equalised.
That equaliser came in the 57th minute from a header by Kelantan captain Indra Putra Mahayuddin through a pass by Norshahrul Idlan Talaha.
But Negeri Sembilan almost scored through Mohd Badri Mohd Radzi in the 65th minute from a lovely pass by Mohd Norfarhan Muhamad.
Without their main pillar, Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak who was taken out due to injury, Negeri Sembilan were under more pressure, trailing 1-2.
To reinforce the back, Kelantan coach B. Sathianathan made the clever move of introducing Akmal Rizal Ahmad Rakhli and Khairan Eroza Razali.
The pulsating match ended with Kelantan emerging champions this season with a 2-1 victory over Negeri Sembilan.- Bernama