MSL matchday 14: Bottom sides stage defiant upsets

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Football Malaysia LLP
Clubs in the bottom six of the Malaysia Super League standings shone in round 14, producing upsets against their more-fancied opponents.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


On a matchday that saw the postponement of the clash between the top two sides JDT and Pahang, it was the teams occupying the bottom half of the Malaysia Super League (MSL) table who stole the limelight.

On Tuesday, last-placed Kelantan recorded a rare win over the more-fancied Kedah, beating them 2-1 in Alor Star. The hosts' new signing Paulo Rangel scored his first ever goal for them, a penalty in the 26th minute. But the visitors fought back to lead the match, first through a 55th minute goal by Nik Azli Nik Alias, and then a goal by Danial Ashraf Abdullah at the hour mark. In the dying moments of the game the Red Eagles were awarded a penalty for a handball, but custodian Shahrizan Ismail dived the right way to keep Sandro Mendonca's attempt out, and help the Red Warriors record their first win in five matches. For Kedah it was their second straight league defeat, after losing to 2-0 Melaka United in round 13, also at home.

Kedah vs Kelantan match highlights

On the same night, Melaka continued their resurgence, edging Kuala Lumpur 4-3 in Cheras. The visitors raced to a 3-0 lead through goals from Yahor Zubovich (6'), Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim (23') and Ifedayo Omosuyi (34'), but the hosts switched to high-pressing in the second half which helped them level the score, through goals by Paulo Josue (43') and Guilherme de Paula (48', penalty 71'). However, just five minutes after the equaliser, Ifedayo scored the Mousedeers' winner, giving himself a brace in his first appearance for Melaka since he signed for them last weekend.

Kuala Lumpur vs Melaka United match highlights

PKNP FC meanwhile recovered from two back-to-back defeats, to upset Terengganu FC at home with a 2-1 win. The visitors captain Tchetche Kipre opened the scoring in the 30th minute, but the hosts' skipper Shahrel Fikri Fauzi helped his side grab a come-from-behind win, with his 52nd minute penalty, and his second goal nine minutes later.

PKNP vs Terengganu match highlights

On Wednesday, Selangor edged the more-fancied PKNS FC with a 2-1 win in Cheras. Rufino Segovia opened the scoring in the seventh minute to take his tally as league top scorer to 12 goals, but former Malaysia striker Safee Sali equalised for the visitors just two minutes before the break. At the hour mark, Indonesian midfielder Evan Dimas Darmono scored the winner for the hosts. The two sides will meet three more times this month; the return league fixture this Sunday, and the two-legged FA Cup semi-final tie later this month.

Selangor vs PKNS match highlights

Negeri Sembilan in 11th place meanwhile left it late to hit third-placed Perak with the equaliser, in their 1-1 draw in Paroi. The visitors were made to wait until the 71st minute before they could open the scoring with a goal by Gilmar da Silva, but Malaysia U-23 star striker Thanabalan Nadarajah dashed Perak's hopes to retake the second place, when he headed in the equaliser in the dying seconds of the match.

Negeri Sembilan vs Perak match highlights

The match between JDT and Pahang will be played on Friday.

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