The 2018 Malaysia Super League season finally got underway at the weekend with plenty of excitement across six venues as 12 teams start their battle for the most coveted trophy in the country. It is of course still very early days in the season to take much stock from the league table but there remains plenty of talking points from the first weekend of action.
For the first time in the history of football in Malaysia, all six top tier matches were shown live either on television channels or through streaming sites and applications, fans were treated to a feast. Here are the 5 talking points from Round 1 of the season.
iflix bore the brunt with plenty of room for improvements
Apart from the live matches shown on terrestial television, all Super League matches were also broadcasted live through iflix and UnifiTV. However things did not go smoothly for the good people at iflix as fans took to social media to complain on the stoppages and suspended broadcast at various points of the matches shown.
While the situation wasn't ideal, it would be very harsh to deem it all a failure just from the problems suffered at the very first weekend. iflix know that they will have to improve with each passing match and they will do well to take on board every criticism thrown their way and work to rectify those problems.
An equal look about the league table
The table can be separated into three parts where four teams equally sit within each of those three parts. Four teams achieved wins, four teams achieved draws and the balanced four teams suffered defeat.
Newcomers PKNP FC are sitting high up in fourth spot but it's only after one match and they had the luxury of playing fellow newcomer Negeri Sembilan in their opening fixture. The same case could be said of Kedah who are in 10th spot but they can relax in the knowledge that they won't have to play Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) each week.
Imports take flight with sole local on the board
13 goals were scored from the six matches played but only one local player had his name listed among the goal scorers. It's no surprise that the imports bagged the majority of the goals, that's the reason why they are employed in the first place. The only 0-0 from the first round was between Pahang and Perak
Qayyum Marjoni's strike for PKNS FC against Terengganu FC ensured that it wasn't a complete sweep of goal scorers for import players. Ten out of the 12 managements would be fairly please to see their highly paid strikers managing to break their duck on the opening weekend.
Red Giants grab first bragging rights
It was a highly anticipated match, MSL's version of Super Sunday and the first one had the Klang Valley derby in it. The first for a fair few years as neither side have been in the same division, the backdrop provided by a rejuvenated KLFA Stadium in Cheras and the outcome was an electric atmosphere.
A match that saw end-to-end action, Selangor came out on top as Rufino Segovia found a brace of goals to earn their set of fans all the bragging rights, at least until the reverse fixture comes around later in the season, in July.
Cambodian star first to shine
This season sees the introduction of the ASEAN slot for import players and one particular player is already proving his worth with one of the minnow clubs in the Super League. The league has seen previous ASEAN players in the league but the new ruling meant that teams this year had another option and most teams have taken up that option.
PKNP's Keo Sopkheng etched himself into the club's history books by becoming their first ever goal scorer in the country's top division. The 25-year-old Cambodian looked comfortably the best player on the pitch at Batu Kawan Stadium, displaying his repertoire of technical skills. That goal was all his team needed to earn their first ever win in the top flight.