BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Pahang were held to a 2-2 draw by Selangor in their Super League match on Saturday. In the match that was held at the Darulmakmur Stadium, the visitors went in front twice in the match through goals by Juliano Mineiro and Forkey Doe, but Pahang drew level each time thanks to Matthew Davies' goal, and Faisal Rosli's late equaliser.
Pahang boss Dollah Salleh fielded all of his foreign players except for Bright Dike who was benched, and Joseph Kalang Tie taking Ashari Samsudin's place.
Selangor head coach Maniam Pachaiappan made one significant change in his lineup, dropping Raimi Noor to the bench with the winger's place taken by youngster Kannan Kalaiselvan. Ugo Ukah returned from his suspension to the centre back position.
It did not take long for the first goal of the match to be scored, however it was the visitors who drew first blood, in the sixth minute. A ball that was not cleared from Pahang's final third carefully was passed by Victor Astafei to Mineiro right in front of the goalmouth. The Brazilian sent in a low shot into the net, past Pahang custodian Wan Azraei Wan Teh's grasp.
But the Red Giants' delight did not last long, as the Tok Gajah found the equaliser just four minutes later, following a corner kick. Syamim Yahya's corner kick was flicked towards the far post by Muslim Ahmad's header, and skipper Matthew Davies was there with a tap in.
In the 28th minute Doe had a glorious chance to give Selangor the lead again. A lobbed through pass by Halim Zainal found Doe behind the Pahang defence line, and the Liberian tried a curling shot to score past Wan Azraei. But his shot only hit the far post. It was a good thing for referee Fitri Maskon that Doe's attempt did not go in, as replay showed that the forward had been in an offside position, something that both the referee and his linesman had inexplicably missed.
Maniam's tactic of making right back Bunyamin Omar and right winger Syahmi Safari shadow Pahang's target man Matheus Alves worked, as the Brazilian was practically marked out of the game. That left the goal-getting responsibility to Mohamadou Sumareh, but the Gambian could not finish his threatening runs into the final third with accurate attempts.
Selangor restored their lead in the 66th minute, after Astafei was fouled by Faisal Rosli in the penalty area. Doe coolly converted the chance, taking his personal league tally to five goals this season.
With the lead, Maniam understandably told his men to sit deeper, with Doe their lone man up front waiting for clearances.
But just as Selangor were shutting up shop, Pahang drew level for the second time in the match, in the 88th minute. And who better to score it, than Faisal himself. Selangor and former Pahang goalkeeper Khairulazhan Khalid misjudged his leap trying to stop a corner kick, and the defender struck first time with a volley for his team's second goal of the night.
The match ended 2-2, halting the Elephants' seven-match winning streak at home in all competitions.
Pahang: Azraie (GK), Faisal, Jae-won (Afif 60'), Muslim, Davies (C), Zaharulnizam (Ashari 75'), Azam (Kogileswaran 87'), Syamim, Soumareh, Joseph, Alves.
Selangor: Azhan (GK), Bunyamin, Ukah, Razman (C), Kannan, Halim, Saiful (Veenod 81'), Syahmi, Mineiro (Raimi 83'), Astafei (Adam 93'), Doe.