MSL matchday 21: Bos Gaurus slip up to set up three-way battle for second spot

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Football Malaysia LLP
The two teams that will leave the Malaysia Super League have been decided, and now the runners up will be decided between three teams.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


The penultimate round of the 2018 Malaysia Super League took place over Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with the league runners up only going to be decided in the final round, and the relegation finally confirmed.

On Saturday, Melaka United had to come back from behind twice, before needing a last-gasp winner to down Selangor 3-2 at home. Ilham Udin Armaiyn opened the scoring for the visitors in the 25th minute, but Yahor Zubovich levelled the score five minutes into the second half. Substitute Kugan Dhevarajan helped Selangor retake the lead with his first touch in the 70th minute, but their poor defending allowed Zubovich to head home another equaliser from a set piece, in the 83rd minute. Selangor needed only one point from their three remaining league matches to secure top-tier safety, but Nicholas Swirad denied their chances of doing so in Saturday's match, when he nodded in the winner in the dying moments of the match.

Goals scored in the Melaka-Selangor match

Pahang meanwhile kept their second place hopes alive, by defeating PKNS FC 1-0 at home. Issey Nakajima-Farran scored the only goal of the match in the 26th minute, but it came at a heavy price. Just two minutes later the former Canada international had to be substituted off for an injury, adding to their long crock list. PKNS' defeat meanwhile put them out of contention for the second place.

Pahang vs PKNS match highlights

On Sunday, Perak in second place failed to take the chance to seal the spot, when they were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Kedah. Despite the hosts putting the ball in the back of the net twice in the match, both goals were disallowed because of offside decisions, and the match ended goalless. Just like PKNS, Kedah too are no longer in the running for a runners up finish, following this draw.

Perak vs Kedah match highlights

In the other match of the night, Negeri Sembilan's relegation was confirmed after they lost to Kuala Lumpur 2-1 in Cheras. The result also guaranteed the Hawks' top-tier status for the 2019 season.

Goals scored in the Kuala Lumpur vs Negeri Sembilan match

On Monday, PKNP FC fell to a 2-1 home defeat to champions JDT. Fortunately for the hosts, results on Saturday and Sunday had already confirmed their league safety.

Goals in the PKNP-JDT match

Kelantan too will bid goodbye to the top-tier, when they were beaten 2-0 by East Coast derby rivals Terengganu FC in Kuala Terengganu. The hosts were made to wait until one minute before halftime for the opening goal, scored by Tchetche Kipre. Ten minutes into the second half Kamal Azizi Zabri added their second. 

Goals scored in the Terengganu vs Kelantan match

The result put the Turtles level on 34 points with Pahang but with an inferior goal difference. The two teams still stand a good chance of snatching the second spot, and a possible AFC Champions League playoff spot, away from Perak who are currently on 36 points, in the final round this weekend.

Although Negeri and Kelantan, both now on 15 points and will be relegated, there is still one thing left to fight for; qualification to the Malaysia Cup as the 11th-placed finishers in the league. 

KEDUDUKAN TERKINI PASUKAN unifi LIGA SUPER MALAYSIA 2018#unifiLSM#MalaysianFootballLeague#TransformingMalaysianFootball pic.twitter.com/tVS5v32Tl5

Current MSL standings

 

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