The group stage of the 2017 Malaysia Cup reached its haflway stage after the completion of matchday 3 of the schedule and there are a few surprise leaders at this midway juncture. Goal rounds up all the action from the eight matches that were played on Tuesday.
PKNP FC takes control of the group after handing fellow Premier League outfit, Negeri Sembilan a 2-0 defeat in a match played in the afternoon. The match was played at Proton Stadium in Tanjung Malim after the pitch at Perak Stadium was deemed not fit for us. Forward Gilberto Valdinesio scored a brace in the last 10 minutes of the match to push the tiny club three points ahead of the more established Pahang in the group.
At Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium, T-Team and Pahang played out to a 1-1 draw. Both goals came very early in the match as Mohamadou Sumareh struck in the opening minute of the first half before Nor Hakim Hassan replied for the home team, just five minutes after that. Both teams would struggle to break down each other's defence and had to settle for the point at the end.
There was a sparsity of goals in the group with only two goals scored in to matches played. Perak held Felda United to a 1-1 draw at Tun Abdul Razak Stadium in Jengka. After a scoreless first half, the visitors were the first to find the back of the net through Shahrul Saad but Zah Rahan Krangar found the equaliser just minutes after going behind. The draw puts Perak top of the table, two points ahead of their opponent.
Meanwhile at Shah Alam Stadium, PKNS FC could only draw 0-0 with Premier League side, Kuala Lumpur (KL). Current form would put the teams closer to each other given that KL are top of the second division while PKNS are theoretically only four places above them, albeit in a division higher. Despite seeing their opponent rest top scorer Guilherme de Paula, PKNS were unable to find the breakthrough to get a win.
Except for UiTM FC, it's all to play for Kedah, Kelantan and Melaka United. The latter three teams are all tied on six points with three matches remaining to secure two qualification spots to the next stage of the competition. Margaro Gomis and Abou Bakr Al Mel were the toast of the Red Warriors after they defeated Kedah 3-1 at Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium in Kota Bahru. Liridon Krasniqi late penalty goal was nothing more than a consolation for the away side.
Taking a breather from their troubles in the Super League, Melaka is revelling in the Malaysia Cup. Brazilian midfielder Felipe de Almeida Souza scored once in each half to help Melaka to a precious 2-1 win over UiTM. The away side had equalised through star striker Akanni Sunday just before half time but could do nothing to stop Souza from clinching the winner.
Selangor celebrated a crucial 3-2 win over Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) to take control of the group, three points ahead of the Southern Tigers side. Former player, Amri Yahyah turned out to be the thorn in JDT's side after he notched up two goals, including the late penalty winner. All this after Fairuz Aziz had headed Selangor into the lead. JDT came out stronger in the second half and pulled it back to 2-2 through Hazwan Bakri and Darren Lok but would ultimately succumb to Amri's strike.
Over in Kuching, Sarawak and Terengganu played out to a scoreless draw, a result which doesn't leave both teams in good stead for qualification. It's the first point that Sarawak has gained in the group stage while Terengganu continues to be unable to eke out a win.