Wednesday June 27, 2012
Confidence booster for USM
UNIVERSITI Sains Malaysia (USM) FC kept their hopes of making the cut to the Malaysia Cup alive by beating Sime Darby FC in the Premier League.
The 2-0 home victory was a big morale booster for USM who had gone down 1-2 to a struggling Harimau Muda B two days earlier after a month-long break.
It was also the first time they had beaten Sime Darby in three meetings.
Sime Darby had thrashed USM FC 4-1 in the Premier League’s first round in February.
A month later, they showed the varsity side the exit in the FA Cup with a 2-0 win.
USM coach S. Veloo said beating Sime Darby was no easy task as the Kuala Lumpur side had proven to be a highly resourceful team despite making their debut in the Premier League.
The three precious points USM earned have put them back on track towards fulfilling their pre-season target of a top four finish.
It was a victory USM richly deserved if their two goals in the second half are to be used as a yardstick.
Sime Darby would have bro- ken the deadlock just two mi- nutes into the second half if not for a brilliant save by USM goalkeeper Muhd Al-Hafiz Hamzah who stopped a header by Yusof Zainal.
USM drew first blood in the 53rd minute through Mohd Baser Napae who shook off two Sime Darby defenders before curling a well- placed right footer beyond goalkeeper Redzuan Harun.
Mohd Akmal Mohd Noor delivered the second blow by finishing off his solo effort after having intercepted the ball at midfield on the hour.
The victory last week put USM a mere point behind Sime Darby who is in third spot of the League table but they were pipped from the fourth spot by Johor on goal difference.
Johor had beaten Pahang 2-0 in Pasir Gudang the same day.
Pahang’s defeat allowed Armed Forces to move into an outright lead at the top of the pile following their thumping 7-0 win over Perlis at the Kelana Jaya Stadium.