MSL Round Report 13 & 14: LionsXII maul PKNS FC for sweet revenge; Bosko Balaban stars again for Selangor

LionsXII hold a 5-point lead over Kelantan having played three games more while Felda United FC returned to winning form

Kedah suffered a 2-0 home defeat against Sarawak on Friday. Shahrol Saperi and Sarawak’s very own sensational youngster, Ashri Chuchu, were on target for the Borneo side. 

The Crocs later hosted Kedah at home, and the visitors stunned the home team with a 2-0 win in an almost similar match. Kedah’s new signing, Vedran Gerc scored a brace on his debut, with back-to-back goals within five minutes in the second-half.  The Croatian was signed a day before the match to replace the under-performing striker, Hamidan Mohammed of Ghana.

Felda United FC ran out comfortable winners against troubled bottom of the league side Kuala Lumpur FA. Kelantan FA loanee, Mohd Nizad Ayub scored his first ever hat-trick in the league before striker Farderin Kadir finished off with a late strike to make it four goals to none for the visitors.

Felda followed that win with another victory over Kuala Lumpur FA at home. Mickael Antoine-Curier scored the only goal of the game and relegation-troubled Kuala Lumpur FA have now not secured a single point since January.

Sabah FA lost 3-1 to Perak FA but took the lead as early as in the first minute of the game through Zainizam Marjan. Akmal Rizal then levelled for Perak FA 20 minutes after the break, before Perak finally took the lead after a mistake by defender Mafry Balang, who scored an own goal. Lazar Popović scored his first goal of the season in the injury time to complete a fruitful performance for the visitors. The Serbian striker’s goal proved to be his only goal for Perak FA as his contract was terminated after the match.

Sabah then took the game to Perak when they met on Tuesday. The home team struggled throughout the game with the match ending in a thrilling 2-2 draw. Michal Kubala put Perak ahead before Zainizam Marjan leveled the scores towards the end of the first-half. Sabah FA finally took the lead after Zainizam again slotted in a nice move from the midfield. Michal Kubala rose to save Perak FA from a humiliating defeat with an injury-time goal to salvage a draw for the home team.

Kelantan FA were held to a 1-1 draw against T-Team FC in Kota Bharu. Kelantan had a goal disallowed early in the game after a foul was spotted by the referee. Nurul Azwan Roya's 44th-minute goal was cancelled out by Khairul Izwan’s brilliant finishing in the second-half. 

In the reverse fixture, T-Team FC suffered a 2-1 defeat in a thrilling encounter at the Kuala Terengganu Stadium. The hosts surged ahead when Khairul Izwan Khalid's strike hit the net, but Kelantan FA got themselves back on level terms when S. Chanturu marked a comeback for the visitors. A late penalty by Mohammed Ghaddar then secured victory for Kelantan FA.

Terengganu FA ended their losing run and managed to hold-off 10-men Negeri Sembilan FA to grab all 3 points. S. Kunalan's own goal in the 67th minute separated the sides after the final whistle, as Negeri Sembilan FA could not find an equaliser. Marian Farbak was sent-off late in the game after the Slovakian was booked for the second time.

On Tuesday night, Negeri Sembilan were held to a 1-1 draw after Terengganu managed to hold the home team from staging a comeback victory. The Turtles took the lead early with Francis Doe converting a penalty after a foul by defender Mohd Shaffik. Negeri Sembilan’s dominant performance finally paid off after sensational forward, Effa Owona slotted in a grounder. The home team were awarded a penalty late on, but Effa Owona blasted his shot wide.

LionsXII's unbeaten run was ended with PKNS FC securing a shock victory over the league leaders. Guadeloupe International Mickael Nicoise's stunning free-kick was the only goal in the dramatic encounter at the Petaling Jaya Stadium. 

LionsXII hosted PKNS FC in Jalan Besar Stadium four days later as the home team finally got their revenge with a 5-0 win. LionsXII's biggest win of the season was sealed with strikes from Shaiful Esah, Safuwan Baharudin, Sevki Sha'ban and a double from Agu Casmir. LionsXII could have scored more only to be denied by the heroics of PKNS goalkeeper, Remezy Che Ros.

Johor FC secured a hard-earned point against the illustrious Selangor FA. The hosts went ahead early when Mohd Riduwan M'aon slotted a goal on 20 minutes. The visitors had to wait until the 82nd minute when Bosko Balaban finally equalised for Selangor FA.

But the Red Giants cruised to victory against Johor FC in the corresponding fixture in Shah Alam Stadium. Bosko Balaban scored twice as Selangor FA continued their great performance at home. A brace in the 56th and 87th minutes was enough to bring the home team back into title contention.