* Defending champions ride on a penalty for a 1-0 win over Felda United
* Inconsistent Police still on top
* Selangor suffer back to back defeats
Defending Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim scored a lucky 1-0 win over Felda United at the Larkin Stadium on Sunday to move into second spot on 18 points after 10 matches – one rung below Police who have scored more goals.
The Southern Tigers rode on a 45th minute penalty after Felda United skipper Sukor Adan felled Patricio Rodriguez inside the box and the Aregentine picked himself up to score from spot to give new coach Mario Gomez a winning start as the new head coach – replacing Croatian Bojan Hodak who was removed after last week’s 2-1 defeat to Perak in Ipoh.
Leaders Police remained on top despite their shock 3-1 defeat to strugglers Armed Forces at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi on Saturday on a night when Selangor suffered back to back defeats, losing 2-1 to Perak at the Shah Alam Stadium, the first defeat for the Red Giants at home this season.
Selangor were also beaten by the same margin by Kelantan in Kota Bahru on on April 25. The Red Giants took the lead through a header by towering Guilherme De Paula on 18 minutes. But that was all Selangor could do in front of their home fans as Perak came back strongly to score twice – first through South Korean Namkung Woong ( 45th minute penalty) and fast rising Nurridzuan Abu Hassan off a freekick.
Selangor’s Australian coach Mehmet Durakovic described Nurridzuan’s goal as “world class” but in the same breath could not hide his disappointment over the defeat.
The Perak winger’s wonderful long range effort, however, was spoilt when he was sent for an early shower for a second bookable offence on 85 minutes. Still, Perak, who who stunned JDT 2-1 in Ipoh a week earlier, celebrated the win over Selangor – leaving Perak coach Datuk M. Karathu all smiles.
“Football is a team game and the young players must learn to keep their cool. They are young and immature. This is what caused us the red card,” said Karathu, referring to Nurridzuan’s sacking. “Apart from this I am very happy with the win over Selangor.”
However, Durakovic was a totally disappointed man to see his team lose at Shah Alam and said:
“It hurts. It hurts. We had everything going for us but were not good enough to win.”
Another coach who was in the same boat was Police coach Azman Adnan on his team’s shocking defeat at Paroi and the former international said: “I don’t blame anything or anyone but my players. They just gave up after taking the lead. I am perplexed with the manner in which we lost.
Police led after 13 minutes through Afif Amiruddin’s goal but it was all square before the break when Jerry Palacios found the net in the dying seconds of the first-half. Then came the Hairuddin Omar show who took over the scoring with a brace in the 57th and 62nd minutes for a morale boosting win.
It was a thriller at the State Stadium in Kuching with Sarawak collecting full points after a 3-2 win over Kelantan. The homesters grabbed the lead after 11 minutes through skipper Ryan Griffiths when he whipped in a rising shot past Kelantan custodian Sharizan Ismail.
Colombian striker Erwin Carrillo got Kelantan’s equaliser four minutes later with a well executed shot after running into space and left Sarawak keeper Iqbal Suhaimi grounded.
Billy Mehmet, signed from Kedah this season made it 2-1 when he tucked home a rebound after Sharizan could only parry his earlier attempt into his path. Sarawak stretched their lead to 3-1 after 66 minutes when he rose high to head home a cross from the right but Kelantan fought back through a gem of a strike by Wan Zahrulnizam Zakaria from long range to reduce the deficit.
At the Darul Makmur Stadium, Pahang’s Pakistani defender Zesh Rehman was too hot to handle for Terengganu as the Elephants walked away with a 3-2 win. The lanky Zesh was deadly with his headers in the 26th and 45th minutes. Matias Conti scored Pahang’s third goal on 55 minutes.
The Turtles scored first through a penalty by Brazilian Paulo Rangel in the 23rd minute. He got his second on the night in the 80th minute but could not stop from Pahang winning 3-2.
Sime Darby’s winless run in the league stretched to 10 when the plantation giant lost 2-1 to Lions XII at the Selayang Stadium despite taking the lead through Fahrul Razi. However, the Singapore outfit hit back with Firdaus Kasman and Gabriel Quak getting their names into the scoresheet.
SUPER LEAGUE RESULTS
(Saturday May 2)
PAHANG 3 TERENGGANU 2
ARMED FORCES 3 POLICE 1
SARAWAK 3 KELANTAN 2
SIME DARBY 1 LIONS XII 2
SELANGOR 1 PERAK 2
(Sunday May 3)
JDT 1 FELDA UNITED 0