MELAKA – Melaka United earned promotion for the Premier League next season after emerging as Group B winners in the FAM League, despite losing 0-2 to Young Fighters FC in their last match of the season at the Hang Jebat Stadium, here last night.
Melaka United will join Perlis, winner of Group A, in the Premier League next season although both will meet each other to decide the FAM League champion, on Aug 30.
Although tonight’s match was watched by about 20,000 fans, the biggest attendance this season for Melaka United, it was the Young Fighters FC who held the upper hand when R. Barathkumar scored the opening goal in the 23rd minute.
Though Melaka United showed a lot of fighting spirit after the goal, they failed to break through the Young Fighters FC’s defence.
While Melaka United, coached by former Kuala Lumpur stalwart Mat Zan Mat Aris, were missing numerous opportunities, Young Fighters FC under the experienced Azmi Mohamed, struck the second of the night in the 89th minute through Muhammad Zulfahmi Awang. Among the 20,000 spectators were the Yang Dipertua of Melaka Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron who is also the Melaka United Soccer Association President.
With the season over, Melaka United emerged as champion of Group B with 36 points, the same as MISC-MIFA, but clinched the top spot on better goal difference.
Melaka United had a 17-goal difference compared with MISC-MIFA who had 16 while Young Fighters FC finished third.