| KUALA LUMPUR (17 Aug 2008) – Selangor are through to the final of the Malaysia’s Minister of Education Football League (MEFL) Under-14 competition but not before Penang gave them a run for their money in the return-leg semi-final.
Selangor staged a late fight back for a 2-2 draw in Saturday’s return-leg semi-final at the Batu Kawan to advance on a 4-2 aggregate, riding on their 2-0 win in the first-leg semi-final in Shah Alam last week.
Their opponents in the final are Pahang, who advanced on a 5-0 aggregate after they were given a walkover by Perak in the return-leg semi-final at the Temerloh Mini Stadium.
Pahang were awarded the match with a 3-0 scoreline due to a technical glitch by the Perak team’s management. In the first-leg semi-final played in Kuala Kangsar last week, Pahang won 2-0.
Selangor coach Mat Dinos Talib was a relieved man at Batu Kawan after seeing his team coming through with two late goals to deny Penang an upset.
The homesters looked like forcing the match into extra-time after grabbing a 2-0 lead by the 50th minute with Amirul Shazani opening accounts after only 13 minute to play. Amirul added another in the 50th minute.
With the vociferous home crowd behind Penang and the match tied 2-2 on aggregate, Selangor were reeling. Mat Dinos was a worried man as his players struggled to cope with the turn of events.
“My players were simply jittery after we conceded the first goal. The home crowd also played a big role to inspire Penang and we found the going tough.
“But I told my players to keep their cool. I am glad that they took the instructions well and stopped Penang from adding to their tally. This frustrated Penang.”
Selangor got their break through in the 67th minute when Abdul Raqib Abdul Razak scored to reduce the deficit and put his team 3-2 in front on aggregate.
Penang could not sustain the pressure and Selangor’s ace striker Mohd Amin Rahimi Mahad struck in the 72nd minute to tie the match 2-2 and take his team into the final on a 4-2 aggregate.
Meanwhile, in the Under-17 competition it will be a battle of the neighbours with Kelantan meeting Kedah in the final.
Kedah rode on their 3-0 win in the first-leg semi-final in Kuching to advance to the final on a 4-2 aggregate despite suffering a 1-2 to Sarawak in the return-leg in Jitra.
In the other semi-final Kelantan knocked out Negri on a 4-0 aggregate after a narrow 1-0 win the return-leg semi-final in Tampin. Kelantan won the first-leg in Ketereh 3-0.
The MEFL is organised with the cooperation of 100PLUS, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).
The league is participated by a total of 16 teams, one from each state, and will run from April through to August this year.
SECOND-LEG, SEMI-FINAL RESULTS
Penang 2 Selangor 2
Kedah 1 Sarawak 2