Warung Din Selamat FC 0-0 The Dark Horses
This was described as the clash of the titans, the duel between the league leader and the challenger which disappointingly ended in a goalless draw. The score line doesn’t reflect the events on the field as both teams have plenty of chances to take the valuable 3 points.
In the end, good defensive displays and some brilliant goalkeeping made sure that both of them sharing the spoils.
The match started after heavy December rain cleared up about 9 o’clock. Due the weather and condition of the field, two PSL matches scheduled before this match had to be postponed, much to displeasure of many players in Irbid. Some of the them stick around the field, playing football in the rain and determined to enjoy themselves. However, the weather became clear and the pitch dried up, perfect for the third PSL match albeit a light shower of rain during it.
WDS FC started with a defensive lineup which the captain A.Rahmat Halif surprisingly started at the center of defense partnering Dziya Faqhran. This clearly shows their intent to soak up the pressure of TDH and tried to catch them off-guard with counterattack movement. Other surprise starter is Firdaus Hadi, debuting for WDS FC at the right wing much to the delight of some spectators.
Contrarily, TDH came out with full gun blazing with their strongest line-up in offensive formation. Azri Adnan, the captain surely acknowledged the strength of the WDS FC and tried to suppress the opposition as much as possible. One notable starter is Khairul Anwar Ibrahim, a goalkeeper who did well in the last match against Bugatti FC replacing Hashemi Dahalan, the first choice goalkeeper in TDH.
The match started tepidly as both teams tried to size each other up. But as the match progresses, TDH seems to be dominating the midfield with both full-backs, Mukhlis and Anwar Rasyid, the vice captain pushing forward aiding the attacks from the wings. WDS held firm with Helmi playing in the midfield became the shield of the back four, successfully frustrated the TDH attacks from the center. However, the attacks from the wing by Dzofir Zolkepli and Sydi Firdaus(allegedly the hottest property in PSL) managed to stretch the defense forcing Basyarudin Effendy, the WDS goalkeeper to make a couple of good saves.
At the half-time whistle, it was clear that although it was still 0-0, TDH had a superior showing, especially in the midfield. Yaser Fahri a.k.a Yash, the ace forward of WDS was playing like a sick man, which he is actually. It was confirmed he had a fever which impeded his performance in the field. Other than that, the WDS attacks came mainly from set pieces and some attacking runs by Syafiek Razali and Faiz Azrain. They can’t hold the play well enough in the midfield area to create clear chances. TDH chief concern would be getting goals. They threaten quite well enough from the flanks and Usamah Baderol Alam, the TDH striker managed to beat the offside trap a couple of times but failed to profit from it.
Second half starts with the WDS, inspired by their captain and rejuvenated by substitution, tried to take hold of the midfield area and create chances going forward. The substitute striker, Faizal a.k.a Jongkabe, also the vice captain of WDS provided the impetus his team needed to attack. At this time, both teams clearly tried to win as the WDS somehow was getting stronger in attacking and chance after chance had been created. Two such moments came from a beautiful freekick by A. Rahmat which been saved brilliantly by Khairul Anwar with one handed punch and from a corner by Faizal which delivered precisely to Yash but he failed to make a good header towards the goal.
The game seemed ended abruptly when the whistle blown by the referee Husaini Azizan, signaling the end of the match. Both teams probably disappointed not to get the precious points, but the result was fair and just.
The Dark Horses had been halted.
My Own MAN OF THE MATCH: A. Rahmat Halif- the WDS FC captain was influential in his performance. He managed to keep the TDH strikers quiet through out the match. Composed on possession, he showed great technical skill on the ball and distributed wisely. His free kick at the second half was a joy to watch.
WDS FC VERDICT: After the shock loss to Real Benchwarmers, this is probably a good result for them. However, it would be interesting had A. Rahmat playing more advanced position and Yash had been healthy. Their performance had been good, especially at the second half.
TDH VERDICT: Finally the leader of the league had hit the wall on the march to the title. They’re still the favorite team to win, of course. There’s not much wrong with the performance but they probably would need a plan B when opposing teams starting to get more defensive or ‘parking a coaster’ in front of goal.
SIDELINE SHOW: The famed captain of Phoenix Bangkit FC, Abdul Munir Sanusi was among the spectators showing support for WDS FC. He provided the entertainment with his antics at the sideline. Questioning every decision the referee made which not in the favor of WDS FC, he had been warned after berating at Abdullah Harith a.k.a Yop, the assistant referee about an offside decision. The best pick of the bunch was when he tried to get Sydi Firdaus, the superstar’s autograph on the field. Hilarious but brilliant.
Hardcore PSL Fan,Abdul Hadi Damanhuri (Bugatti FC)