Kelantan’s Khairul Fahmi Che Mat was one of the stand-out players in his side’s 0-0 draw with Perak, notably making excellent saves to keep out attempts by Marco Tulio and an effort that deflected off Nik Shahrul, his own defender. He has three clean sheets in four league matches this season.
Madhu Mohana was the only natural defender in a makeshift Lions XII defence against Felda United, and he led them with aplomb, even having a goal ruled out for offside in the first half. By contrast, Pahang’s Zesh Rehman netted a towering header of his own and kept a clean sheet as the Elephants earned their first league win of the season. He is partnered at the back by Thiago Aquino, who was imperious as Perak collected their third clean sheet of the season. Ronald Hikspoors completes a back four of centre-backs, despite not actually being one. Usually a forward, he put in a strong performance that forced JDT to resort to taking shots from outside the box, although Sarawak lost 2-1.
Having been subjected to rough treatment from the opposition in recent matches, Andik Vermansyah was more clever with his movements against PDRM and exploited it to good effect, including an assist for Afiq Azmi’s goal. In the middle of the pitch, JDT captain Safiq Rahim scored from a long-range shot and a curling free-kick and was by far the best player on the pitch at the Larkin Stadium. Perak captain Nasir Basharuddin did well to ensure that his teammates remained unflustered against Kelantan in front of a packed Perak Stadium to earn a valuable point. Pahang’s cultured left-footer Hafiz Kamal was on hand to provide two assists, including a superb through-pass to R. Gopinathan, that helped them to a win over Sime Darby.