It was a nightmare outing for defending champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Bahru as Kelantan roared to a 4-1 over the Southern Tigers on Saturday. .Photo Credit -
It was a nightmare outing for defending champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Bahru as Kelantan roared to a 4-1 over the Southern Tigers on Saturday. Photo Credit –

* Champs JDT dislodged from top after big defeat to Kelantan
* A 1-1 draw against Perak gives Pahang top place on goal difference
* Sime Darby relegated to Premier League
* Selangor hold Lions XII at Jalan Besar
* Armed Forces and Sarawak in battle to avoid drop

It was a double blow for JDT who also surrendered their place at the top of the 12-team league on goal difference after Pahang drew 1-1 with Perak at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh. Both, Pahang and JDT have 43 points each with the Elephants having a better goal difference (40-24) to JDT’s 31-15.

Selangor retained their third spot with 33 points after a 1-1 draw against FA Cup champions Lions XII at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

JDT were 2-0 down inside 13 minutes and never recovered from the disadvantage. Gilmar Filho opened the scoring after four minute before a hotly disputed penalty earned the Red Warriors their second goal on 13 minutes.

JDT’s towering Brazilian defender Marcos Antonio was hauled up for elbowing and bringing down Austin Amutu inside the box. He was duly booked by referee Nazri Nasaruddin who pointed to the spot.

Off the ensuing spot kick Kelantan skipper Badhri Radzi made no mistake – sending JDT keeper Farizal Marlias the wrong way. Kelantan 2-0.

JDT head coach Mario Gomez can consider himself lucky to have escaped punishment from the referee when he marched into the field to join in the fray while his players – skipper Safiq Rahim. goalkeeper Farizal Marlias, Mahali Jasuli, Antonio and several others – were arguing with the match officials.

Mahali narrowed the deficit for JDT after 50 minutes when he slammed a right footed shot past a sea of legs after a corner by Safiq.

But any fightback by the Southern Tigers was nipped in the bud when a minute later Norfarhan Muhammad made it 3-1 for the homesters – firing home a bullet of a shot taken on the run from outside the box. Norfarhan scored a hattrick in Kelantan’s 5-3 defeat to Pahang in Kuantan in a mid-week match.

The JDT net was dancing again in the 83rd minute – this time it was Gilmar again for his second goal of the night. Norfarhan flicked for Gimar to put the finishing touches with a rising volley that Farizal never saw until it hit the roof of the net.

At the Perak Stadium in Ipoh, Pahang scored first through Hafiz Kamal after 31 minutes but Bobby Gonzales equalised for Perak in the 79th minute to share points.

Selangor were leading through a 59th minute goal by national striker Afiq Azmi but Lions made it all square in the 87th minute – thanks to a beautifully executed scissors kick by Khairul Nizam Kamal.

“Selangor packed their defence and made it difficult for us to break them down. But in the end Khairul Nizam scored a brilliant goal for us to share the spoils,” said Lions XII coach Fandi Ahmad.

Selangor coach Mehmet Durakovic had his usual comments “we played brilliant and I am happy with the performance” after the stalemate.

Sime Darby, relegated to the lower tier Premier League next season and with only two more matches are still searching for their first win after 20 matches when they held Police to a 1-1 draw at the Shah Alam Stadium.

Armed Forces and Sarawak, themselves battling to avoid relegation also shared points with a 1-1 draw at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi.



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