* Nightmare for Irfan Bakti as Felda suffer defeat in six matches
* JDT, Selangor, Pahang, Terngganu get narrow wins
* Kelantan to make changes to their foreign lineup
Kelantan need to take stock of their under-performing foreigners as the Red Warriors slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Terengganu in the East Coast derby at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium in Kuala Terengganu on a night Perak turned in a sterling performance to thrash Felda United 4-1 at the Selayang Stadium on Saturday.
Making a losing start to his reign as the new Kelantan coach, Azraai Khor Abdullah did not mince his words when he said: “The foreigners made the difference to the match. We will definitely make at least two changes in our foreign quota during the April transfer window.”
The former international however, was more than pleased with the performance of the local players who “warmed my heart and have given me hope” as the Red Warriors bid to move up the table from their present eighth position in the league.
Putting the defeat aside, Azraai is now focused on the FA Cup quarter-finals with the first leg against Sime Darby to be played at the SelayangStadium on Tuesday.
“The foreigners we have now are no better than the locals. In fact I am impressed with what the local players in the Kelantan side. They have better football qualities compared to the foreign players we have. The changes are needed if we want to do well. Despite the defeat to Terengganu, I see hope in the team,” added Azraai.
The four foreigners in the Kelantan side are Australian defender Jonatah McKain, Colombian striker Erwin Carillo, Liberian midfielder Isaac Pupo and Cameroonian hitman Emmanuel Kenmogne.
Ismail Faruqi gave Terengganu the lead on 50 minutes before Kelantan skipper Badhri Radzi made it 1-1 after 75 minutes. But Terengganu made sure of all three points for their third win when Sharin Sapien blasted in a rebound off the post in the 80th minute.
Brazil striker Charles Souza Chad was too hot to handle for Irfan Bakti and company as Perak put up a fantastic show at the Selayang Stadium for an impressive big win to warm up for their FA Cup quarter-finals against Terengganu.
Chad found the net in the 5th, 50th and 90th minutes but also missed a penalty. South Korean midfielder Namkung Woong is fast turning out to be a good buy from Kedah when he got his name into the scoresheet again on 82 minutes. Felda’s solitary goal came through Edward Junior Wilson. Perak are in second place in the league with 11 points.
Selangor collected full points at the Shah Alam Stadium with goals by Andik Vermansyah (54th), Hazwan Bakiri (59th) and Robert Cornthwaited as the Red Giants moved into third place on goal difference in the league with 11 points from three wins, two draws and one defeat. Sime Darby scorers were Nemanja Vidakovic and Dilshod Sharafotdinov.
At the Larkin Stadium in Johor Bahru, the Southern Tigers were lucky to collect full points in a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Armed Forces. The vistors grabbed the lead through Honduran international Jerry Palacios. The World Cupper found enough space inside the box to drill home in the 24th minute. JDT, however hit back with goals by Amri Yahyah (32nd) and Safiq Rahim hitting the winner on 58 minutes.
Pahang were also on the winning trail as the Elephants edged Lions XII 3-2 at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan. The Singapore outfit were first to take the lead through Faris Ramli after 15 minutes. Matias Conti drew level for Pahang on 36 minutes and moved ahead to 3-1 with goals by R. Gopinathan and Azidan Saruddin in the 65th and 76th minutes respectively. Lions XX 11 reduced the deficit through Khairul Nizam in injury time.
SUPER LEAGUE RESULTS (April 5)
Pahang 3 Lions XII 2
Selangor 3 Sime Darby 2
JDT 2 Armed Forces 1
Felda United 1 Perak 4
Terengganu 2 Kelantan 1