Nigerian midfielder Moses Atede Jona Atuluku’s shot from the edge of the box in injury time saw Kedah edge Penang 2-1 in front of about 3,000 spectators at the City Stadium.
It was Kedah who took the lead through Fadzrul Danel Mohd Nizam in the seventh minute but Lebanon import Soony Saad levelled the score for the home team in the 32nd minute.
Penang were reduced to 10 men after Adib Abdul Ra’Op was shown his second yellow card (77th minute) by referee S. Logeswaran before Atuluku secured the match winner for the visitors.
Portuguese player Rafael Vitor’s attempt in the 67th minute found the net but Logeswaran disallowed the goal for Penang after ruling that Vitor had pulled and disturbed another Kedah player while making the header.
The supporters from both sides later clashed outside the stadium and police intervention was needed to bring the situation under control.
Penang coach Chong Yee Fatt Chong said he was disappointed by the result as his team had expected to win the match.
“The result is very unfortunate. We had expected to collect full points. As you could see, we had more possession of the ball in the first half,’’ he said.
“However, in the second half, the red card incident and disallowed goal made a difference as we lost our momentum,” he said at the post-match press conference.
Kedah coach Nafuzi Zain admitted that his team had faced a tough time against Penang, apart from commenting on the less-than-ideal pitch conditions.
“In my opinion, the hard and uneven ground prevented both teams from showing their true potential,” said Nafuzi.
“The field conditions were difficult for both teams. It’s too risky to perform at the level we are supposed to, so we had to be careful and changed the game pattern to play safer to avoid injuries.’’
The win kept Kedah in third spot with 43 points after 20 matches, narrowing the gap on second placed Selangor, who have three points more after 21 matches.