The Crocs have themselves to blame when Selangor came out on top in a game Sarawak failed to dominate. The Crocs, guilty of poor play in the first half saw Selangor hitman Basko Balaban sneak in the winning goal as early as the 7th minute thanks to sloppy defending and passing.
The match started off rather slow with both sides taking time to adapt to the game. Sarawak featured an all local line-up with Joel Epalle missing from both the starting line-up, and the substitute list.
Despite playing in front of a 15,000 strong home crowd, the Crocs failed to adapt to the game and allowed Selangor much room to manipulate and dominate the midfield. Both Sharol Saperi and Azizan Saperi seemed to have had an off day.
In the 7th minute, Sarawak got a shock when Basko Balaban brilliantly defeated the Sarawak defence and custodian Saiful Amar Sudar to put the visiting team one goal up.
Sarawak tried to regroup and look for the equalizer, but their efforts were indeed futile as Selangor proved the more dominant side having about 70 percent of possession in the first half.
The home team looked refreshed after the breather as they mounted more attacks towards the Selangor goal. However, tall defender Ramez Dayoub mustered his defence with confidence, denying Sarawak any proper attempt at goal.
Despite Sarawak’s effort, it was the Red Giants whom almost went two goals up when Amri Yahyah neatly tucked in another ball at the back of the Crocs net. The linesman however ruled the goal as offside making the score still stuck at 1-0 for the visiting team.
The Crocs looked more aggressive from then, creating havoc at the Selangor backline. Probably noticing the resurgence of the home team, Selangor players resorted to ‘play acting’ with players crying foul every ten minutes, hence disrupting the Crocs attacking momentum.
In the final minutes, the Crocs had the best chance to equal the scoreline when K Rajan looked certain to tuck in the ball in a one on one situation with Selangor goalkeeper Mohd Razman Roslan.
Razman however hard tackled K Rajan in the box, but a penalty shot for the incident was turned down by referee Azman Jamaludin.
The final whistle finally blew with the Irfan Bakti’s men grinning from ear to ear, and Robert Alberts showing off a rather bitter face.
Final result: Sarawak 0-1 Selangor