Nazrul Erwan Makmor (right) fails to stop Shahurain's piledriver following Zamri Ramli's fatal error. The Star
Hairuddin Omar made a run from the blindside to head home the second goal, with Zamri failing to track him.
Hafizal Hamad, Zainal Abidin Rawop, Azraai Khor Abdullah and Izwan Mohd Nor kicked off the final episode of Wisel Penamat@TV1 for the 2009 season without loose cannon
Some people could not understand loose cannon's message, either in this blog or in other discussion boards in the cyberworld, in picking Kelantan to win the Malaysia Cup final.
Its purely for sentimental reasons and the impact it would have created in harnessing a football culture which in turn can only benefit the whole country. Except for a few in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan winning the Cup makes little difference to the overall landscape, but it does in Kelantan's case.
Admittedly, Negeri were the better side on paper and in action. Picking them to win the final is akin to eating rice. Senang.
The winning coach and skipper are loose cannon's fellow Johoreans, while another Johor chap, Idris Karim was one of Claude Le Roy's favourites that he was deployed in the Makelele role at the age of 19 against the likes of Brazil, England and Angola in the Toulon Invitational tournament in 1995.
Loose cannon is known to the twins' father, Abdul Radzak Salleh, who hails from Kulim, while his sons - Aidil Zafuan and Zaquan Adha - were students of loose cannon's wife at the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS).
Malaccan-born Shukor Adan and Terengganu lad Hairuddin Omar are loose cannon's personal friends since they first burst into the scene more than a decade ago. Also the first journalist to know Wan Jamak Hassan would quit as the national team coach even before the 1997 SEA Games was - LOOSE CANNON!
Now for sure the Cup will be paraded from Paroi to Tampin but the passion and appreciation would have been greater if the Cup was to be taken from Bachok to Kubang Kerian to Tumpat and back to Kota Bharu. The whole State would be gripped with football fever!
Back to the final:
In Wisel Penamat@TV1, loose cannon expressed his suprise that Sathianathan opted for a rookie striker to spearhead a 4-3-3 formation, Nizad Ayub being flanked by Nor Farhan Mohammad on the right and recently crowned the league's MVP, Indra Putra Mahayuddin. Norisham Hassan, Daudsu Jamaluddin and Khairan Eroza Razali were the midfield triumvirate but coach B. Sathianathan, in the live phone conversation with the panellists, corrected loose cannon by pointing out that it was in fact a 4-1-4-1 formation.
Compare Kelantan's midfield with Negeri Sembilan's 4-4-2, where Rezal Zambery Yahya and Idris stoking the engine room with flankers Shahurain on the right and S. Kunanlan on the left combining well with youngster Aliff Shamsuddin and veteran Ching Hong Aik respectively.
Loose cannon said the difference between the two teams was Zaquan who on his own created panic among the four Kelantan defenders - right back Farisham Ismail, centre-backs Rizal Fahmi Rosid and Nazrul Erwan Makmor as well as left-back Zamri Ramli.
At the back Zaquan's twin Aidil did all the cleaning up, made easier by Nizad's inexperience, with Shukor providing his assured presence.
GOAL no 1 (19th minute) - On a wet pitch, a defender cannot afford to lose concentration. Zamri did as he failed to trap the ball just outside the box and without having to touch the ball first, Shahurain's piledriver silenced the 60,000-odd Kelantan supporters.
Crucial moment - when Indra broke free on the left in the 24th minute, keeper Farizal Harun rushed to close the gap and block the striker's shot.
GOAL no 2 - Hairuddin, if you'd remember, outjumped John Terry to nod in Malaysia's solitary goal against Chelsea in 2003. He is an aerial threat to any opposing defence. An international since 1998 by making his debut with the national Under-19 side in the Asian tourney at Johor Bahru, Hairuddin knew how to make runs from the blind side. Zamri's mistake was not to track his run when Zaquan delivered the cross. Game over. With Kelantan having to chase the game through Khalid Jamlus and Che Hishamuddin Hassan's entry as substitutes, there were gaps for Negeri to exploit.
GOAL no 3 - Even if one is to dispute the decision, Zamri made contact with Shahurain as the latter fell inside the box and the penalty was duly converted by Zaquan, who has had the advantage of playing for the country since the age of 15.
GOAL no 4 - Unforgettable goal on a forgettable night for Indra as his free-kick from 20m sailed past Farizal.
p/s Kelantan fans need to be educated. Tan Sri Annuar Musa told loose cannon last week, he would be looking into conducting educational programs for the fans. They must learn to channel their passions in a way that is helpful and positive for the team.