Kedah win Malaysia Cup in thrilling shootout

The 2015 runners-up exacted revenge over last year's winners Selangor to lift the 2016 Malaysia Cup early on Monday morning.

Kedah prevailed 6-5 over Selangor in the shootout to win the 2016 Malaysia Cup as both teams were tied at 1-1 following 120 minutes of football.

Rizal Ghazali, who opened the scoring in the second-half, scored the deciding kick after Rizal Fahmi Rosid struck the crossbar in Selangor. Both teams were tied at 4-4 after the five kicks.

Both teams started without their regular captain, but it was the absence of Shahrom Kalam for Selangor that was more surprsing considering he is fit and has had enough game time this month to regain match fitness since a knee injury ruled him for three months until September.

His Kedah counterpart Khairul Helmi Johari got gametime in the end after the Red Eagles were forced into taking off Syawal Nordin at the half-hour mark.

Neither teams settled early but pressed their opponents into mistakes and had chances to take the lead.

Ugo Ukah came to Selangor's rescue inside 10 minutes after Baddrol Bakhtiar's pressure on the defence opened up Thiago Fernandes while Selangor's winger R. Gopinathan, who has been firing all cyclinders in the competition thus far, slipped when he was put through on goal with only Ifwat Akmal to beat in the 21st minute.

Fernandes had a penalty appeal turned down in the first-half because he was already in an offside position.

Although Kedah had better dominace in the middle of the park, it wasn't until five minute from the break that the Northerners started knocking at Selangor's goal.

Kedah's best chance came in the 40th minute after three players beat the offside trap to meet Baddrol's cross, but the shot went straight into Khairul Azhan Khalid's hands.

Selangor came out hungrier after half-time and even had a goal-bound shot by skipper of the night Andik Vermansyah cleared by Amirul Hisyam Awang Kechik.

Yet it was Kedah who took the lead after right-back Rizal Ghazali's long-range shot deflected off S. Veenod and went over Khairul Azhan Khalid to send Kedah's fans into a frenzy in the 52nd minute.

Their joy, however, barely lasted eight minutes after last year's Malaysia Cup hero Ahmad Hazwan Bakri played a one-two with Patrick Wleh before netting the equaliser.

Both team traded blow for blow with Liridon Krasniqi hitting the outside of the post from a stoppage time free-kick being the closest to a goal until the shootout.

Photo: Football Malaysia LLP