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Super League

JDT open up gap at the top, no changes to relegation battle

08:18 GMT+3 15/04/2018
Gonzalo Cabrera, Johor Darul Ta'zim
Johor Darul Ta'zim vindicates their AFC Cup decision but Negeri Sembilan and Kelantan did themselves no favours in the fight to stay in the division.

After a dismal midweek performance in which JDT selected a second string side against Persija Jakarta, they needed a big statement win against PKNS FC last night to justify their decision, and that was achieved with a comprehensive 3-0 win at Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium.

Raul Longhi explained that he needed to rotate his players to prepare for the PKNS challenge and his team provided the right response on a wet pitch, following heavy showers in the afternoon prior to the kick-off.

Surprisingly, Nazmi Faiz kept his place in the starting line-up, one of only two players to do so, the other one being Hariss Harun. Gonzalo Cabrera got the ball rolling with a wonderful solo effort in the 15th minute. 

Despite not finding much room going forward, PKNS did offer defensive resistance for the rest of the first half. That would be completely undone early in the second half when Cabrera's free kick deflected off Rodney Akwensivie and rolled into the net.

Safawi Rasid capped a solid performance from the reigning champions with a thunderous effort in the 56th minute. The forward is fast earning a big reputation for these big hits from outside the penalty box.

In the other match on Saturday night, Negeri Sembilan and Kelantan played out to a 1-1 draw at Tunku Abdul Rahman Stadium. The result did neither team any favours as it kept them languishing in the bottom two spots in the Super League standings.

Flavio Beck opened the scoring for the home side in the 8th minute but Fajer Ibrahim managed to get his first point in the league when Nik Akif Nik Syahiran turned hero with his equaliser in the fourth minute of added time in the second half.

With the result, Negeri remained in bottom place with only four points after six matches played while the Red Warriors are only one point better in 11th spot.