The inability to convert clear-cut chances into goals was the apparent drawback of Jang Jung’s Perak, as they opened their Malaysia Cup campaign with an exciting 1-1 draw with FA Cup finalist, Sime Darby. Raingo’s goal gave the host the lead in the 64th minute but Fahrul Razi netted the equaliser for Perak in the 89th minute. Both teams ended the play with a point each.
The weight of expectations was definitely on Perak’s shoulders despite them being visitors for this opening game. Sime Darby’s reputation as a mere Premier League side barely justified them as favourites thus Perak went of the offensive right from the beginning.
Jang Jung’s men could have even taken the lead as early as the 5th minute. But Fazrul Hazli’s speculative shot was tipped away brilliantly by the Sime Darby goalkeeper. Five minutes later, Michal Kubala came within inches of drawing first blood but his well executed free-kick hit the bar instead.
The brand of football employed by Perak was definitely a sight to behold but their poor finishing was proving to be a menace. Nevertheless, Sime Darby had their fair share of chances as well and goalkeeper Kamarul Affendi had to be on his toes throughout the match.
Both sides fought hard on the pitch but it took until the 64th minute for one of them to break the deadlock. Sime Darby import, Raingo slammed in a brilliant free-kick from the edge of the box to give his side the lead.
Jang Jung responded by bringing on experienced forward Akhmal Rizal Rakhli and President Cup sensation, Kenny Pallraj in a bid to induce a revival. The Seladangs fought hard and their efforts were rewarded when Fahrul Razi restored parity with a well-taken volley from outside the box.
The score remained tied until the end and both sides shared spoils. However, Perak will be disappointed to have not snatched a victory, for their domination was evident throughout the match. Their midfield in particular, showed tremendous grit and determination to contain the highly versatile Sime Darby attackers. Their poor finishing is a cause for concern. The problem needs to be addressed if they want to advance further in the tournament.
Regardless, the fans and management have definitely seen glimpses of this squad’s capabilities and due credit must be given to Jang Jung. His tactics and methods seem to be doing the trick. Hopefully, it will continue.