Malaysia League Wrap: Terengganu Close The Gap

It's getting tight at the top...
PERLIS 1 SELANGOR 1


Hot on the heels of their 6-0 mauling of Johor, treble winners Selangor were brought back down to earth when they were held by Perlis, 1-1 in Kangar, thus seeing their lead at the top of the Super League standings reduced to only two points.  

The Northern Lions stunned the Red Giants when Fakri Saarani’s 12th minute header from Azrul Ahmad’s cross broke the deadlock, but with six minutes to the breather, midfielder Safiq Rahim notched his third goal this season off a thumping free-kick from 25 metres out to level for the champions. 

Perlis, who were runners-up in the league last season, pressed in search of the winner in the second period, the efforts of K.Soley, who was playing his first match of the season after being injured, gave them much impetus, but Selangor battled to keep their point.

TERENGGANU 2 KUALA LUMPUR 0
Terengganu bounced back to winning ways when they scored a goal in each half to condemn draw specialistsKuala Lumpur to only their second defeat in the competition.

After losing to Negeri Sembilan in midweek, which saw their efforts in hammering Selangor before that go to waste, the Turtles did not let up a second time as they narrowed the gap on the leaders who were held by Perlis.

Zairo Anuar provided the Turtles with a brilliant start after two minutes when his long range free-kick from outside the box found the back of the net, beating Remezey Che Ros.

The goal shy City Boys almost equalised on the half hour mark but Yong Kuong Yong’s effort from distance skimmed just over the crossbar.  

It was a brutal second half on the bumpy Sultan Ismail Nasirudden Shah pitch, and Terengganu paid the price for their aggression when they were reduced to 10 men following Muhaimin Omar’s sending off in the 54th minute for an ugly tackle on Yong.

However, KL failed to make the advantage count, and Irfan Bakti’s boys sealed the win with Ashaari Shamsuddin sixth goal of the campaign in the final minute of play. 

KEDAH 3 T-TEAM FC 1
2007 and 2008 treble winners Kedah finally ended their wait for a first win in Alor Setar this season, beating newly promoted T-Team FC 3-1, with a brace from top scorer Azlan Ismail, to keep in touch with Terengganu, whilst also closing in on Selangor.

Youngster Faizal Abu Bakar got the Canaries moving with his strike from outside the box which Syamsuri Mustafa failed to get a grasp on in the 16th minute, and Kelantanese born Azlan doubled their lead nine minutes later.

It was all over for the visitors when Azlan bagged his second of the night in the 58th minute.

The Terengganu-based club side scored a consolation goal nine minutes from time through Norhisham Hassan.

KELANTAN 3 PENANG 1

Kelantan piled more misery on Penang with an inspirational performance by Norshahrul Idlan Talaha in the second half for a comeback 3-1 win in Kota Bahru.

V.Jaganathan placed the Panthers ahead after 13 minutes to silence the Red Warriors’ fans in the daunting Sultan Mohamed IV Stadium but Kelantan, who have been plagued with recent rumours surrounding B.Sathiananthan’s future, roared back to life through Norshahrul.

Cancelling out Penang’s lead a minute after the break, the national under-23 striker put Kelantan ahead in the 50th minute.  He completed his hat-trick two minutes from time, stepping up to convert from the spot.

This victory lifts Kelantan to fourth in the standings, level on points with Kedah, while Penang continue to be stuck in the relegation zone following their fifth reverse of the season.

PERAK 0 JOHOR FC 3

Southerners Johor FC erased the nightmare of their thrashing by Kelantan a week ago, easily taming Perak3-0 in Ipoh. Ramlan Rashid’s boys went in front four minutes before half-time via Khairul Ismail, and made it 2-0 right on the hour mark through new arrival Zulhissyam Jamaluddin.

Long-serving Eddy Helmi laid the icing on the cake with his first goal of the season two minutes from time. 

The deserved defeat forces Raja Azlan to go back to the drawing board following the pretext of a false revival by the Selandangs after commendable draws against Kelantan and Kedah respectively.  

PAHANG 2 PLUS FC 1

PLUS FC, who were the biggest spenders of the close season, once again suffered a lapse in concentration in the final stages of play, gifting victory to Pahang in an away fixture in Kuantan, and remain stuck in the wrong half of the table, only a point clear of the bottom two sides Penang and Johor.

Dollah Salleh’s men led 1-0 in the 37th minute through Azzamuddin Akil’s third goal of the season, chipping over goalkeeper Razi Effandi, but when Lot Abu equalised with four minutes remaining, Mat Zan must have thought at least the Highwaymen would come off with a point.

Little did he know Shahrizan Salleh would gatecrash PLUS’ celebrations of the leveller, snatching a last gasp winner in the 90th minute and gift all three points to Pahang for their third win, and surprise many despite the resources Dollah has had to work with. 

JOHOR VS NEGERI SEMBILAN : POSTPONED

The match between Johor and Negeri Sembilan was postponed as a mark of respect for the passing away of the Sultan of Johor.