Ken Ilso grabs double as Kedah win Malaysia Cup thriller at Selangor
A first-half brace from Danish striker Ken Ilso was the catalyst for a 3-2 win by Kedah on the road at Selangor in the first leg of the Malaysia Cup quarterfinals on Friday night.
Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) and PKNP FC also secured precious away victories in the last eight. JDT won 4-1 at Melaka United while second-tier PKNP stunned Felda United 3-1.
A Mohammed Ghaddar double, plus goals from Natxo Insa and Safiq Rahim gave JDT their success at Hang Jebat Stadium, and one foot in the semifinals. PKNP's hero at Jengka was striker Shahrel Fikri, who grabbed a hat trick.
At Selayang Stadium, Selangor were expected to take the game against an in-form Kedah side on home turf.
They almost took a second-minute lead through Adam Nor Azlin's header, which sailed centimetres over the bar from Amri Yahyah's free kick.
But once Kedah found their tempo, they dominated the hosts and surged in front on 11 minutes, courtesy of Ilso.
The ex-S.League hot shot surprisingly found himself through on goal after Sandro Da Silva's pass left the Selangor defence flat footed, and made no mistake to find the bottom corner.
Seven minutes later, Selangor conceded another soft goal to Ilso. He was sharpest to slide home past Khairul Azhan Khalid after the goalkeeper had smothered Syazwan Zainon's close-range shot.
Selangor's back three of Razman Roslan, Ugo Ukah and Adam were caught out on many occasions, and were almost punished again on the half-hour mark.
Fortunately for them, Khairul Azhan was at full stretch to deny Ilso his hat trick after the forward was let through on goal unchallenged again.
Selangor needed a strong second half to stay alive in this contest, and they came out with purpose after the break.
Rufino Segovia almost immediately pulled one back after the interval, but Ifwat was equal to his half volley with a brilliant reflex save.
The Spanish forward, on loan until the end of the season, did eventually get his goal in the 53rd minute after he headed home Syahmi Safari's cross.
Andik Vermansyah was introduced soon after to add venom to Selangor. His cross on 65 minutes found Segovia, who saw his header palmed away by Ifwat.
But four minutes later, Kedah regained their two-goal advantage through Syazwan.
Again Selangor went to sleep at the back, and the winger was left unmarked to dispatch home Rizal Ghazali's cross.
A minute later, Segovia again hauled Selangor back into this contest after he turned home Andik's cross.
The game was marred by friction between the sides after that as Ukah, Sandro and Amri all went into the referee's books.
With three away goals, Kedah will be optimistic of sealing the deal in the return leg on Sept. 24.
Selangor: Khairul Azhan Khalid (GK), K. Kannan, Syahmi Safari, Saiful Ridzuwan Selamat (Andik Vermansyah 57'), Adam Nor Azlin (A.Namathevan 79'), Francis Forkey Doe, S. Veenod, Ugo Ukah, Razman Roslan (C), Amri Yahyah, Rufino Segovia
Kedah: Ifwat Akmal (GK), Fitri Omar, Zachary Anderson, Baddrol Bakhtiar (Akram Mahinan 80'), Ken Ilso, Sandro Da Silva, Khairul Helmi Johari (C), Rizal Ghazali, Amirul Hisyam Awang Kechik, Syazwan Zainon (Syawal Nordin 80'), Liridon Krasniqi
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.