Kedah FA shrugged off any notions of their ongoing financial crisis affecting their players as the Red Eagles gave out a confident performance on Saturday night to beat PDRM FA 2-0 at the KLFA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. A first-half brace from Kipre Tchetche was enough for Kedah to see off the Cops in their first Liga Super Malaysia match after the suspension of football brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Much of the footballing news in Malaysia during the COVID-19 suspension of the sport revolve around Kedah’s financial woes, which saw them fail to pay their players and staffs for almost four months. Around two weeks before Saturday’s Matchweek 5 tie, cosmetics millionaire and actor Aliff Syukri has expressed his interest in purchasing the cash-strapped side, which could provide the relief that everyone in Kedah are looking for.
Despite all the fiasco going on behind the scenes, Aidil Shahrin Sahak’s men did not let any of those affect their on-field performance as they dominated PDRM from the get-go. Once again relying on African attacking duo Kipre and Kpah Sherman, Kedah repeatedly tested the PDRM defense throughout the opening half hour of the match. This culminated in the 29th minute, when a shot from Faizat Ghazli was blocked by PDRM’s Turkmen midfielder Serdar Geldiyew with his hand in the penalty box. The referee quickly pointed to the spot, as well as booking Serdar for handling the ball inside the area. Kipre was tasked with taking the penalty and the Ivorian did his duty excellently to give Kedah the 1-0 lead.
Now with the slender lead to their name, Kedah kept pushing forward for another goal. Six minutes after Kipre’s opener, the former Terengganu FC player scored his brace after finishing off an excellent pass from his strike partner Sherman. 2-0 Kedah, and the scoreline stayed that way until half-time.
No further goals were scored in the second half, although PDRM did improve their game and came close to cutting down the deficit a number of times throughout the second 45. However, Kedah held onto their lead tightly and left the KLFA Stadium with the 2-0 victory and all three points – their second league win of the season.
Meanwhile, at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Kuala Terengganu, hosts Terengganu had no mercy towards their visitors Sabah FA as goals from Dominique Da Sylva, a brace from Sanjar Shaakhmedov, and a goal from Singaporean international Faris Ramli sent the Turtles to a convincing 4-0 win over the Tembadau. The win catapulted Nafuzi Zain’s Terengganu to second on the Liga Super table with 10 points, trailing league leaders Johor Darul Ta’zim by three points. Sabah, who were coached by Indonesian legend Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto, were left stranded on 11th place.
Wrapping up Matchweek 5’s action was the Selangor Derby between hosts Selangor FA and Petaling Jaya City at the UiTM Stadium in Shah Alam, which ended in a goalless draw.