Kelantan's Guinean striker Keita Mandjou had the first effort of the evening in the 12th minute after finding space in the area, but his near-post effort was comfortably gathered by Zamir Selamat. In the 16th minute we saw a moment of magic from Safee Sali as Simone Del Nero sent a delightful back heel from a deep cross back to the forward, who then hit a beautiful overhead kick, but it was acrobatically saved by Kelantan keeper Khairul Fahmi despite taking a heavy deflection off Shahrul Azim. In the 26th minute set-piece specialist Safiq Rahim sent in a low free kick which sent Fahmi scrambling across his goal, however he was able to eventually gather the ball up.
In the 27th minute Zamri Ramli found space in the Johor area, but his curling effort was palmed away unconvincingly by Zamir. Five minutes later Aidil Zafuan sent a rocket of a free-kick towards the centre of the Kelantan goal, but Fahmi was well placed to gather the ball with ease. Kelantan then took a shock lead shortly before half-time when the aforementioned Aidil failed to close down Mohd Norfarhan bin Muhammad, allowing the forward time and space to fire home a cracker from 25 yards out. Norfarhan could have added another before the break following a defence splitting pass by Indra Putra, but his near post effort was put behind by Zamir.
Kelantan remained the more settled team at the beginning of the second half, with Norfarhan setting up Indra in the 50th minute, but his rasping effort from the edge of the area flew just over. In an attempt to turn the tide JDT coach Fandi Ahmad introduced Spanish striker Dani Guiza from the bench in the 52nd minute, and his out-of-sorts strike partner Safee Sali should have scored from Guiza’s delicious left-wing cross five minutes later, but his free header from seven yards out was straight at Fahmi.
The home side continued to pile on the pressure. On the hour Indra demonstrated some great footwork on the edge of the area before hitting a curling effort which was headed for the top corner before it was turned behind by Zamir. Less than a minute later Badri Radzi again went close, firing just over the bar after a mazy run from midfield.
However the home fans were silenced in the 63rd minute, when against the run of play Johor equalised thanks to Guiza. He curled a magnificent 30 yard free kick around the wall after Badri had tripped Safee, a strike that demonstrated just why his employers were so determined to bring him to Malaysia. Soon after the visitors could have snatched the lead after Fahmi made a mess out of a straightforward backpass, missing the ball and kicking only air when trying to make a clearance. Norshahrul was close by but was unable to capitalise, and may have been unfortunate not to have been awarded a penalty after he was hacked down by the Kelantan keeper.
With 15 minutes remaining Safee again attempted an ambitious overhead kick from inside the Kelantan area, but this time it was off target. The Red Warriors were the team exerting the most pressure in the latter stages, firing several crosses into the Johor area. One of these crosses, by Norfarhan, almost flew into the top corner but it was clawed away Zamir, the closest the home team came to taking all three points.