Stadium Ipoh, Perak
Perak finally got the better of Kedah in their fourth attempt this season with a 1-0 win in the battle between the two Super League heavyweights at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh last night.
After losing to the Canaries three times in Alor Star, dangerman Keita Mandjou turned hero for the home side, heading home the only goal of the match in the 61st minute and help Perak climb into second spot in the standings.
He timed his run perfectly to connect with a Ahmad Shahrul Azahar cross and end the visitors 21-match unbeaten streak.It was also Kedahs first defeat this year in all competitions.
The hard-earned win allowed the Seladang to end their four-game winless streak and, more importantly, reduce the gap between themselves and league leaders Kedah to five points. Perak also have a match in hand.
Perak and Brunei DPMM, who went down to a surprise 1-3 home defeat by Pahang, have 31 points each but the Seladang have a better goal difference. Playing on a slippery pitch prevented both sides from strutting their stuff early in the game.
Kedah enjoyed most of the early possession but were unable to make their advantage count while the home sides best chance fell to R. Surendran in the 34th minute.
However, the Perak midfielder found his goal-bound shot brilliantly saved by the alert Mohd Helmi Eliza.
Kedah started the second half the same way they began the first on the offensive.
But the Canaries still found Hamsani Ahmad goal impenetrable. Instead, it was Perak who found the breakthrough in just their first serious look at Mohd Helmi goal in the second half.
Mandjou strike whetted the home side appetite and they continued to pile on the pressure but were unable to inflict further punishment on the weakened Kedah defence, which was missing the suspended A. Victor and Fazliata Taib.