Kelantan put an early penalty miss behind them to smash three stunning goals past LionsXII in all conquering second-half display.This top-of-the-table clash sparked to life as early as the third minute when Kelantan were awarded a penalty after Isa Halim felled Nor Farhan in the box.
Nohshahrul Idlan Talaha’s weak penalty was however easily saved by Hyrulnizam Jumaat.
Lions XII were stunned, but they recovered and Khairul Fahmi had to be on red alert to thwart Shahril Ishak from point blank with Haris Harun’s rebound being scrambled away by the home defense.
The game swung back in favor of Kelantan and they should have taken the lead through Nurul Azwan, but he blasted Idlan Talaha’s cutback horribly wide from six yards out. It was end to end stuff literally as Lions XII were denied by the bar through Haris Harun’s brilliant header and Khairul Nizam’s acrobatic effort was pushed away by Kelantan goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi.
Kelantan started the second half with the same vigor as the first, with Chanturu once again in the thick of things as his bombing run and shot was pushed away by Hyrulnizam. But Chanturu didn’t have to wait long to get his goal.
Nohshahrul clipped a low cross from the right and the forward sent an acrobatic scissor-kick past Hyrulnizam to put the Red Warriors ahead.
Rejuvenated by their lead, Kelantan were attacking in full flow and their second goal came in Barcelona-esque fashion.
Three players were involved in a swift passing move before Indra Putra sent Norfarhan through on goal and the midfielder kept his cool to finish high into the net. But Kelantan were not done just yet.
Rizal Fahmi smashed an unstoppable 25 yard pile-driver into the top corner with Hyrulnizam rooted, Chanturu playing provider this time with a gentle lay-off.
The Red Warriors were more than good money for their win, pressing the Lions high up the pitch and defending in packs to stop any attack from the Singaporean outfit.
They now lie just two points off the league leader having played three games less. A home match against Ayeyawady in the AFC Cup awaits in mid-week while LionsXII will hope to extend their increasingly narrow lead with an away win over Felda United.