Third time’s a charm

SUNDAY, March 18: PJ Rangers got their 2018 FAM Cup campaign back on track with a convincing 3-0 win over Marcerra United at the AirAsia-MBPJ Stadium last night.

Having played Perlis to a scoreless draw at home in their first game and then losing 3-2 away to Terengganu City, Hassan Sazali Waras boys were mired at the bottom half of the table and at risk of losing touch with the league leaders.

However, the win over Marcerra and results elsewhere has propelled the Rangers to third spot.

With the weather again playing havoc with field conditions, neither side were able to gain the upper hand though both had a couple of chances.

The match came alive in the second half and the hosts took the lead after a brilliant run by Tommy Mawat in the 51st minute.

Latching on to a pass from Raslam Khan, the Sarawak-born midfielder weaved his way past two defenders before scoring with a powerful shot off the far post.

Ten minutes later Rangers were 2-0 up thanks to a brilliant goal by former Harimau Muda, Selangor and KL forward Thamil Arasu.

Raslam was again the provider feeding the burly forward at the edge of the box. There was still much to do and the Banting-born lad showed the skills that once earned him a call-up to the senior national side.

With two defenders sticking to him like glue, he turned and left them both flat-footed, raced into the box and calmly slotted home.

PJ Rangers third goal came unexpectedly from skipper Ronny Harun. When the home side were awarded a freekick 25 meters out, the Sabahan stepped up and unleashed an unstoppable bullet of a shot past the hapless Marcerra United keeper.

The visitors earned a penalty late into injury time by were denied by Farhan in the Rangers goal.

Ronny later joked as a defender he would be happy scoring once every 10 years though his last competitive goal was for Sarawak during his stint there from 2013-2017.

The Rangers’ next match is away to D’AR Wanderers FC at the Temerloh Stadium on April 1st at 8.45pm.

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