Kumaahran Gives SMK Mutiara Impian the Advantage for Return Tie
Posted on 03 September 2012
PENANG (3 Sept 2012) – S. Kumaahran played a pivotal role in the first leg, semi-final tie of the Ministry of Education Under-17 Youth Cup 2012 on the weekend when he scored one goal before setting up another for SMK Mutiara Impian of Penang to stage a comeback 2-1 win over SMK Syed Hassan of Perlis.

The visitors had taken advantage of a jittery start by the home side to take the lead through Mohd Safiuddin Salim in the 13th minute when he timed his run perfectly to pick up a through pass and sidestep the ball into goal.

SMK Mutiara Impian of Penang (in all blue kit) against SMK Syed Hassan of Perlis (in all white kit)

Kumaahran, who had just returned from a three-month training stint with Brazilian club Cruzeiro in May, came alive after being switched from the left wing to a central attacking role in the second half.

The 16-year-old equalised for SM Mutiara Impian three minutes after the break by curling home a free kick into the top right corner. And in the 64th minute, Kumaahran floated in a perfect pass for Mohamad Jafri Firdaus Chew to blast into the net for SMK Mutiara Impian's  winning goal.

"I am happy that we managed to overcome the jittery start but a narrow 2-1 win is not comfortable for us to take to Perlis (for the return leg) next week," said Mutiara Impian coach Nur Affendi Taib.

In the other semi-final tie, SMK Tunku Anum of Kedah gained a psychological advantage for the return tie when they battled SMK Seberang Temerloh of Pahang to a pulsating 5-4 victory on the road at the SMK Seberang Temerloh Mini Stadium.

Two quick goals from Muhammad Nur Azam Abdul Azih in the 11th and 13th minute set the tone for SMK Seberang Temerloh but they were served with a rude awakening when Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad blasted in a hat –trick with goals in the 20th, 25th and 37th minute for the former champions.

But the home team still managed to maintain their composure as they rallied to a 4-3 lead off goals from Muhammad Nur Zhafri Zaini in the 57th minute and Mohd Azrul Firdaus Kamarulzaman three minutes later.

However, Kedah proved that they have the mettle and the temperament for the big matches when they nailed two crucial goals right at the end - Muhamad Akmal Mat Isa (in the 88th minute) and Muhammad Azri Zulkiflee (90th minute) to ensure that the advantage is theirs for the return tie.

In the meantime in the Minister of Education Under-14 League Cup, defending champions SMK Bukit Nenas of Terengganu could only muster a close 1-0 win over SMK Tunku Anum of Kedah at the SMK Bukit Nenas Mini Stadium.

The visiting side from the north was disciplined at the back in the first half, as they absorbed the pressure from SMK Bukit Nenas to keep the score sheet clean. But just eight minutes into the second half, the home team finally got a reason to cheer when Mohd Yusri Aiman Rani blasted the only goal of the game.

In the other semi-final tie, SMK Mutiara Impian of Penang played out a 1-1 draw against SMK Seri Titiwangsa of Kuala Lumpur. It was the visitors who went ahead first when Arif Aiman struck home as early as the fifth minute before Hidayat Ruzi equalized for SMK Mutiara Impian from the penalty spot three minutes to the end.

The second leg, semi-final matches will be played on 8 September 2012.   

SEMI-FINALS, Second-leg (8 September 2012)

SMK Tunku Anum vs SMK Bukit Nenas (SMK Tunku Anum Mini Stadium, 3.30pm)
SMK Seri Titiwangsa vs SMK Mutiara Impian (SMK Seri Titiwangsa Mini Stadium, 4pm)
SMK Tunku Anum vs SMK Seberang Temerloh (SMK Tunku Anum Mini Stadium, 5.15pm)
SMK Syed Hassan vs SMK Mutiara Impian (SMK Syed Hassan Mini Stadium, 4pm)
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