Kedah Darul Aman, from Malaysia, qualified for the next round as the group champion in an incredible way. After defeating Visakha FC, from Cambodia with a score of 5-1 in the AFC Cup 2022 group stage, group G at the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium, Gianyar, Bali.
The Malaysian side could have opened the scoring inside the opening quarter of an hour when Ngah Wanja was brought down inside the area by Visakha ‘keeper Keo Soksela on 11 minutes. But after the Cameroonian dusted himself off to step up for the resulting spot-kick, he could only blast the ball high over the crossbar.
And Visakha punished Kedah’s prolificacy not long after as Treat Kimheng’s inviting free-kick from the left was met by a towering header from South African defender Khan to open the scoring.
The Cambodians’ lead did not last long, however, after Dechi Marcel lofted pass into the area was collected by 2021 AFC Cup winner Al Mardi and he fired past Soksela to level the scores before the half hour mark.
Al Mardi should have then added an assist to his goal just four minutes later, but Ngah Wanja somehow sliced his cross wide of goal.
Instead, the Kedah number 10 did it all himself to ensure his side went into the break ahead, firing home a low swerving free-kick from over 30 yards out that Soksela saw late and was unable to prevent finding the net.
Al Mardi continued where he left off after the restart scoring his and Kedah’s third of the game on 54 minutes after he coolly side-footed home half-time substitute Zulkifli’s low cut-back from the right.
Fayadh then went from provider to goalscorer as he made the result certain with Kedah’s fourth goal. Ngah Wanja’s forceful run down the left into the area proved too much to handle for Tes Sambath and, as Soksela rushed out, the Cameroonian slipped the ball across to his unmarked teammate to convert.
With 14 minutes remaining it was Ngah Wanja’s turn to get on the scoresheet as after his earlier unselfish play, he then scored the ultimate individual goal, embarking on a powerful solo run that saw him bypass the Visakha backline before applying a composed finish past Soksela to sign off a five-star performance by Aidil Sharin’s men.
The result means that as Group G winners Kedah will play Indonesia’s PSM Makassar in the ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals, with the winners set to face either Vietnam’s Viettel FC or Kuala Lumpur City of Malaysia in the ASEAN Zonal Final.
Credit Photo : AFC