Key Battles: JDT vs Kelantan

After dealing a blow Selangor’s title aspirations in their last game, Kelantan plan to spring another surprise as they visit league-leaders JDT. Goal analyses the key match-ups

GOALBY    DARREN GOON     Follow on Twitter


Oh, Fakri. The Kelantanese winger literally shed blood for his team’s cause against Selangor, which oddly seemed to galvanise him into a masterful performance on the flank. He had a shot saved by Farizal Marlias, and set up Wan Zaharulnizam Zakaria with two teasing crosses that was only converted on the second occasion. He has only three goals this season, but as long as he continues setting up teammates with through-balls, fans will find it difficult not to love this already-lovable bloke.

The man charged with stopping him will be Asraruddin Putra Omar. JDT’s left-back converted a cross by Amirulhadi Zainal to score his side’s consolation goal against ATM, as his team sank to their first defeat in twelve games. JDT are the only team with an unbeaten home record, and Asra will do all he can to preserve that stat in their final game at the Larkin Stadium this season, and hopefully extend their lead at the top of the league.



Jorge Diaz huffed and puffed against ATM but surprisingly failed to blow their house down. Prior to that loss, he’d scored seven goals in four games to lift himself up to joint-fourth spot in the MSL Golden Boot standings, despite only joining his team in April. His versatility means that Bojan can choose to deploy him on the wing, up front, or in the middle, and he can use that variety to confuse Kelantan’s back four and pull them out of position.

Kecik is coming off a good performance in his last game, scoring from close range off a Fakri Saarani cross for only his second goal of the season. While he isn’t expected to start a scoring run, Zaharulnizam’s priority would be to set up his team’s forwards, quite possibly Francis Forkey Doe and Prince Tagoe, if their successful first-half partnership against Selangor is anything to go by.


Against Selangor on Tuesday, Khairul Fahmi was finally rewarded for several consistent performances with his first clean in five games (and only his sixth this season). Following top saves from shots by Nazmi Faiz and S. Veenod, Apek will begin this tie with confidence that he’s back at the top of his game.

He will need it, as Luciano Figueroa is a man on a mission. The Argentinian hasn’t netted for three league games, which is the joint-longest run he’s gone on without scoring this season. He was well-marshaled by ATM’s Park Yong-Ho, but will still pose some problems for Kelantan’s defenders, particularly if he continues to combine with Jorge Pereyra Diaz.