Selangor FC captured their first trophy for 2010. They defended their Charity Shield trophy coming back from a one goal deficit to score two late goals to win 2 – 1 against Negeri Sembilan in Paroi.
Live Match Telecast
The match was aired live on national tv (TV1). Are we going to see more Super League matches being covered live? I sure hope so. We should have at least one game covered live while the rest are covered as highlights. Is that too much to ask from our media? That’s one way to bring back interest towards the local league.
I didn’t get to watch the first half of the match. Only got home at half time. Managed to see the replay of Negeri’s goal. From the commentator’s review of the first half, it seemed that Negeri had better control of the ball in the first half.
N. Sembilan’s first goal came off a free kick in the 27th minute. Idris Karim timed his jumped perfectly to nod home Rezal Zamberi’s freekick. Both teams was not able to get any more goals in the first half and the score remained at 1 – 0 for the Deers.
Both Selangor Red Giants and Negeri Sembilan FC did not make any substitution during the break. Negeri started the second period with a blast as they tried to kill of Selangor early in the second half.
Missed Scoring Opportunities
S.Kunalan probably had the best chance at extending the home side’s lead. Receiving the ball in the Selangor box from striker Aidil Zafuan, he had only Selangor’s Hamsani Ahmad to beat. Kuna, however, blasted the ball sky high.
As if replying to Negeri’s early attempts at goal, Selangor skipper nearly pulled the visitors level in the 49th minute. Safee Sali sent in a wonderfully weighted ball into the Negeri box. The nippy Amri, although sandwiched between two Negeri defenders, timed his run perfectly to meet the ball with a flying header. Selangor fans rose to celebrate but Amri’s super attempt was denied by the left post.
The Midfield Battle
Negeri clearly overplayed Selangor at midfield. It was as if Selangor was playing without any midfielders. Selangor’s attack, mainly came in the form of long balls from defense.
In the 70th minute, Selangor coach sent in R. Surendran for Hardi Jaafar to partner Safee Sali upfront. Amri Yahyah went back to roam the midfield.
With Amri manning the midfield, Selangor began to take control of the game. The twin striking partners of S.Sali and R.Surendran began to create problems for the Negeri defense. The game was turning around. Selangor was seeing more chances coming their way.
Selangor’s Potent Two Pronged Attack
In the 77th minute, the potent Selangor strike partnership drew their first blood for the new season. R.Surendran received the ball at the left corner of the box. He had two defenders on him. Being fresh and all, he turned both defenders and raced towards goal from the byline. As Negeri’s keeper rushed forward to close his shooting angle, R.Surendran toed the ball towards a waiting S.Sali for an easy tap in.
Celebrations were brief as Selangor knew the tide was on their side now. They are creating more chances at goal. They believe they can put another goal in. True to their belief, the second goal came soon after.
This time around, the provider became the scorer while the scorer became the provider. Yes, S.Sali and R.Surendran hooked together once again. In a move that started from midfield, D.Surendran sent in a defense splitting pass towards R.Surendran. Seeing that his forward movement will be hampered by so many Negeri defenders, he slid the ball to the right where S.Sali was waiting unmarked.
S.Sali then brought the ball into the box and squared to the onrushing R.Surendran. The ball squeezed thru the legs of Negeri defenders and met R.Surendran’s exquisitely timed run. He squeezed the ball through the legs of Negeri’s goal tender for Selangor’s winner.
Players’ Fitness – Mentally and Physically
Then, the Selangor players began to lose it once again. They started to easily lose their possessions. They allowed Negeri to come back and put them under pressure. Silly mistakes were made. S.Sali received an unnecessary yellow card for blocking Negeri keeper when he made a goal kick. Totally uncalled for.
Had the Negeri players been fitter, they might have been able to conjure themselves a goal in the last few minutes of the match. Fitness is probably among the major factor which saw Negeri failed to at least get a point from the match. Except for maybe a few players like Aidil Zafuan and Zaquan who are national players, the rest of the Negeri players were clearly not 100% match fit yet. They probably need another match or two before they reach 100% match fitness.
Player Of The Match
Selangor skipper, Amri Yahyah was named as the player of the match. Although he failed to score a goal, you can’t deny his work rate. He brought life back into the Selangor midfield when he assumed his central attacking midfielder role. I’d say his winning the MVP for the match is totally warranted. Congrats to Amri.
Supporters Come In Numbers
I didn’t get to notice the number of fans at the stadium on tv. However, my younger brother went down to Paroi to watch the game. Yes, he is still a true fan. Me, while I still do support Selangor and the local scene, my travelling days are over for now.
According to my brother, the tickets were sold out when he arrived in Paroi. Excellent, I say! It was a full house event, then. How he managed to get a ticket, I didn’t ask further.
Are the fans coming back to the local scene? Did the SEA Games gold medal bring back the crowd?
A New Hope. Old Attitude
A new decade. A new Super League season. A new hope for the Malaysian soccer scene. From what I saw in last night’s match, the players are up to it. The fans are up to it. The question is, are the officials up to it?
It is now 2010. How many years of Super League have we had? Yet, the FAM and MalaysianSuperLeague web sites are still living in the dark ages of internet. Why do I think as such? Well, in the dark ages of the internet, websites are generally left not updated and people didn’t care about it. Today, websites, especially official sites like FAM and MalaysianSuperLeague must always be updated with the latest news.
I’m not even going to link to their site in here today. As of this writing, none of last night’s matches have been posted on any of the two sites.
This lackadaisic attitude towards the internet needs to change. In this age of technology, information is highly regarded. Its one of the many ways to gather fan support for the local football scene. Are we going to see an improved website?
I’m even thinking of getting together bloggers from all over the nation to post match reviews and photos into an unofficial Malaysian Super League Fan Site of sort. Any one wants to volunteer to provide articles and match reviews? I can work on creating the site.