: Armed Forces (ATM) defeated Kelantan 5-4 in a penalty shootout in the Charity Shield match of the 2013 M-League season to lift the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Cup at the Shah Alam Stadium here Saturday night.
The 2012 Premier League champions guided by former Kelantan coach B. Sathianathan started aggressively in searching for an early goal but found the Kelantan defence hard to crack.
'The Red Warriors' not only soaked up the pressure but mounted quick counter attacks and came close to scoring but their midfielder Mohd Norfarhan Muhammad and import striker Keita Mandjou failed to find the net in the 15th and 40th minutes respectively.
In the second half, it was the "The Red Warriors' who took the fight to the 'The Gladiators' and they were rewarded in the 55th minute when their experienced midfielder Indra Putra Mahayuddin's piledriver beat ATM keeper Mohd Farizal Harun.
Kelantan almost doubled their advantage in the 71st minute but team captain Mohd Badhri Mohd Radzi's shot was just inches off the ATM goal.
ATM midfielder Irwan Fadzly Idrus saved the day for the soldiers when his fantastic free kick sailed past the hands of Kelantan keeper Mohd Syazwan Yusof into the net.
The match ended tied at 1-1 after regulation play forcing the outcome to be decided by a penalty shoout which saw ATM lift the trophy for the very first time.
The win was all the more meaningful for Sathianathan's boys as they had lost 2-3 to Kelantan in the final of the prestigious Malaysia Cup last season.
ATM chief Gen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin presented the Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup to ATM captain Hairuddin Omar.