Perak clinch MSL runner-up spot after Terengganu falter at Selangor

Nicolas Anil Nicolas Anil

Perak FA finished as Malaysia Super League (MSL) runners-up after Terengganu FA failed to find the extra push against Selangor and succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at Cheras Stadium on Sunday. Terengganu’s defeat also meant the Bos Gaurus have the chance to join league champions Johor Darul Ta’zim in the AFC Champions League next year.

Nicolas Anil highlights some of the things that transpired in the Selangor-Terengganu match, which is the final round of the domestic season.

Terengganu gift AFC Champions League qualifier to Perak

The math for Terengganu was simple, win against Selangor and the AFC Champions League qualifier slot would be theirs. Their task was made easier with Kelantan FA taking controlling their match against Pahang FA. Not that it would have mattered, but a Turtles win would confirm second spot. Irfan Bakti’s men, however failed to turn up against the Red Giants. They had decent spells in front of goal, but were too wasteful to make anything happen. Selangor eventually capitalized after a strong second half and got the win through Syahmi Safari and Rufino Segovia. But it was a real waste for Terengganu, who could having been playing alongside Asia’s elite only a year after returning to the MSL. Their loss meant Perak, who were thrashed 4-1 by PKNS FC on Saturday, finished second to earn a shot at Asian glory in 2019.

Rufino Segovia wins deserved Golden Boot

For a while, it looked like the night did not belong to the Spanish striker. The 33-year-old was denied on numerous occasions by Suffian Rahman in the first half, and at some point Segovia tried to do it all on his own and appeared selfish. But quality strikers are ones who do not give up and keep plugging away, and this Selangor hitman was just that. His perseverance ensured he got his final league goal in the dying stages to confirm Selangor’s win. What a season Segovia has had. Without his 19-goals, Selangor would have finished worst off than eighth in the league. The Madrid-born is arguably Selangor’s star man this season, and the Red Giants will be counting on his prowess when the Malaysia Cup rolls along.

Ilham Armaiyn is just not made for scoring

Let’s put it this way. If you were to put a put a goalkeeper blindfolded, and place Ilham in front him, the Indonesian would still miss. It is no wonder why the left winger has only scored once this season. Against Terengganu, he should have scored at least two goals. Despite presented with numerous opportunities, Ilham either found Suffian in his way, or shot wide from a good position. The Indonesian international is not known for his goalscoring prowess, only finding the net 13 times throughout his professional career over three seasons with Persebaya Surabaya and Bhayangkara FC.  But one would have expected him to score more than just once, based on the chances he had throughout the season.

Photo: FMLLP