Kedah denied at death by PKNS in Malaysia Super League thriller
Kedah and PKNS FC played out a thrilling 4-4 draw at Shah Alam Stadium on Wednesday night after both sides converted penalties in injury time to cap off a memorable Malaysia Super League encounter.
Syafiq Ahmad bagged a double for Kedah, while PKNS benefited from Matias Hadwa's brace in the eight-goal thriller.
Victory would have taken Kedah above Pahang into second place and put them within touching distance of leaders Johor Darul Ta'zim.
Kedah interim coach Nidzam Adha was without the injured Zachary Anderson and suspended Liridon Krasniqi, as well as Baddrol Bakhtiar, who sat on the bench ahead of the Malaysia FA Cup second leg semifinal on Friday.
The Canaries tore into PKNS from the opening whistle, and were rewarded through Ken Ilso's goal in the fifth minute.
The Danish striker thrived from Syafiq's cross, making no mistake from close range to give Kedah the lead.
But PKNS were level in the 13th minute through Patrick "Ronaldinho" Wleh. The Liberian had all the time and space in the world to round Ifwat Akmal to make it 1-1.
The visitors, however, were clearly the dominant team, and three minutes later they regained the lead through Syafiq.
Syazwan Tajudin was the provider this time, delivering a mercurial cross from the right wing for the young striker to nod home.
Syafiq's strongest point has always been his aerial prowess. He exemplified that with another headed finish from Sandro Da Silva's cross to make 3-1 halfway through the first half.
But PKNS refused to be cowed after half-time, and they reduced the deficit in the 53rd minute through Matias Hadwa's close-range, thumping finish.
Malaysia national regulars Baddrol and Syazwan were brought in to strengthen Kedah's midfield. As a result, PKNS struggled to make inroads.
But PKNS gained a lifeline after Kedah goalkeeper Ifwat Akmal was substituted through injury, and on came Farhan Abu Bakar.
Lucas Espindola's shot from just inside box looked to be heading straight at Farhan, but he fumbled and allowed the Argentine's effort to squeeze past him two minutes from time.
Kedah were, however, back in the lead in injury time after Baddrol's free kick hit a PKNS player, and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Sando to send Zamir Selamat the wrong way.
The dramatic ending took another twist as PKNS gained a spot kick of their own, deep into stoppage time. Hadwa smashed it home to earn PKNS a share of the spoils.
Selangor, meanwhile, dropped more points after they were held to a 1-1 draw against Sarawak.
Mateo Roskam gave the Crocs a 34th minute lead, but Selangor levelled through a Rizal Fahmi effort just before half time.
The result took Selangor to fourth, while Sarawak remained second from bottom on 10 points.
Kedah: Syazwan Tajudin, Syawal Nordin, Liridon Krasniqi, Ken Ilso, Asri Merzuki, Syafiq Ahmad, Akram Mahinan, Hanif Dzahir (Baddrol Bakhtiar 59'), Farhan Roslan, Syafiq Ahmad (Syazwan Zainon 59'), Sandro Da Silva, Syawal Nordin, Khairul Helmi (C), Ifwat Akmal (GK), Ken Ilso
PKNS: Zamir Selamat (GK), Azreen Zulkafali, Fauzen Dzukifli (C), Gonzalo Soto, P. Gunalan, Kyril Muhymeen, Nazrin Syamsul, Lucas Espindola, Matias Hadwa, Nidzam Abu Bakar, Patrick Wleh
Nicolas Anil is a former Malay Mail and Goal.com Malaysia editor/writer who appears on BFM Radio as a football analyst. Twitter: @nicolas_anil.