Shocks aplenty on the opening day of the Malaysia Cup

Pre-tournament favourites Selangor and Kelantan suffer defeats as draws dominate Matchday 1 of the 86th edition of the Malaysia Cup

Group A

Early favourites Lions XII failed to start with a win as they wasted a host of chances in the game against Johor FC, at the JCorp Stadium in Pasir Gudang. The Singaporeans created the better of the limited chances in the otherwise dull game but failed to convert any of them, as the game ended 0-0.

In Kelana Jaya, hosts PKNS came from a goal down to draw the match 1-1 with Johor courtesy of Mickael Nicoise’s equaliser nine minutes from time. Visitors Johor, who finished fourth in the Malaysian Premier League (MPL), had earlier taken a surprise lead through Argentinean forward Muriel Orlando’s penalty in the 76th minute. The penalty was given as a result of a handball from PKNS captain Fadhil Hashim.

Group B

Terengganu got off to a flyer as they humbled neighbours and league champions Kelantan 2-0 at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium. An early Francis Forkey Doe goal in the 3rd minute of the match settled ‘The Turtles’ down before midfielder Ismail Faruqi sealed the win with a last minute tap-in goal. Kelantan’s misery was compounded when defender Daudsu Jamaluddin was sent-off for a second bookable offence on 67 minutes.

Kedah carried their woeful league form into the Malaysia Cup when they fell to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of big-spending ATM. An absolute scorcher from K.Reuben in the 20th minute and a Zaquan Adha penalty in the 81st minute gave ‘The Gladiators’ the winning start their coach B.Sathianathan was hoping for. Kedah finished the match with 10 men after Fazliata Taib was given his marching orders for a foul on Amiridzwan Taj.

Group C

Defending champions Negeri Sembilan kicked-off their defence of the trophy with a 1-1 draw against Felda United at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Malacca. Negeri took the lead four minutes into the second half through a Khairul Izuan Abdullah header but Felda’s French import, Eddy Viator grabbed the equalising goal 10 minutes before the end.

Elsewhere in the group, visitors Perak gave their new coach Jang Jung his first point after their 1-1 draw with club side Sime Darby FC in Selayang, as a last ditch effort from Fahrul Razi cancelled out Leandro Teofilo’s thunderous free-kick goal in the 64th minute.

Group D

32-time Malaysia Cup champions Selangor suffered a shock loss to Sarawak after goals from Ashri Chuchu and Bobby Gonzales condemned them to a 2-1 defeat in Kuching. The Klang Valley giants had earlier taken the lead through a Ronny Harun own goal.

In Kuantan, another top flight outfit, T-Team, surprisingly lost to MPL runner-up Pahang. In an entertaining match, Pahang came out 3-2 winners with goals from Azamuddin Akil, Mohd Hafiz and Faizol Hussain. T-Team’s goals were scored by Norfazly Alias and skipper Zairo Anuar Zalani.