* Champs JDT keep unbeaten home record with 2-1 win over Sarawak
* Armed Forces earn first point in four matches after 2-2 draw against Terengganu
* Pahang score first win, beat winless Sime Darby 2-0
* Felda United held by Lions XII
There were a couple of firsts when Saturday’s (March 7) Super League matches were played on a night when former kingpins Selangor and Pahang registered their first win in four matches while Armed Forces earned their first point from the same number of matches.
Selangor handed Police a 4-1 beating at the Shah Alam Stadium, which also happens to be the home venue for the Cops. It was the second big defeat for Police who lost 5-3 to Lions XII in their opening match at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Feb 7.
Pahang, the Malaysia Cup and FA Cup champions last year finally got their first win with a 2-0 victory over Sime Darby, who remained entrenched at the bottom of the 12-team league without a win.
At the Larkin Stadium in Johor Bahru, defending champions Johor Darul Takzim came back from a goal down to beat Sarawak 2-1 – Sarawak’s first defeat in the league this season.
The showdown at the famed Larkin Stadium, home of the Southern Tigers, was spoilt by the referee after former Kedah player Billy Mehmet gave the East Malaysians the lead on 27 minutes – running into space with a calculated run to take a through ball from Ivan Fatic. Billy took a half turn and drilled home a grounder past JDT goalkeeper Farizal Marlias.
Sarawak lost their influential Joseph Kalang Tie after 33 minutes and it turned out to a disaster for the Crocs. His replacement J. Partiban gave away a freekick outside the penalty box minutes later when he felled Safiq Rahim. The JDT skipper gleefully planted his curling right footed shot into the left corner to make it 1-1 on 39 minutes.
Hardly had Sarawak recovered from the shock when Safiq struck again two minutes later when he unleashed a stinging grounder on the run for his second goal of the night.
However, the match was marred by many questionable decisions by referee Amirul Izwan Yacob much to the frustration of both teams.In the end it was JDT who benefited and walked away with three important points and make up for the FA Cup exit in the second round at the hands of defending champions Pahang in Kuantan last week.
At the Shah Alam Stadium, Selangor roared with a 4-1 win over Police who earned the “giant killers” tag after their 1-0 win over JDT and Kelantan (4-0) in the league. Ahmad Hazwan Bakri (23rd), Afiq Azmi (46th), Abdul Hadi Yahya (74th) and Guilherme De Paula (78th) were the scorers for the Red Giants while Mali Olympian Dramane Troare (58th) got the consolation goal for Police.
“Our defence was in shambles tonight,” said Police coach Azman Adnan. “We gave away soft goals while we did not find the net from the chances we created…that made the difference.”
Selangor coach Mehmet Durokvic was full of praise for the “fantastic win” which he said came from the hardwork, commitment and discipline his players displayed on the night..
For Armed Forces, it was tremendous fighting display that earned B. Satianathan’s team their first point in the league. More importantly, Honduras striker Jerry Palacios finally broke his duck after his near misses and woodwork denied him in earlier matches.
“It was a great show to earn a point off Terengganu away. The point means a lot for the team as it can turn the tide for us in the league,” said Satianathan.
Brazilian hot-shot Paulo Rangel hit a brace with goals in the 33rd and 48th minutes as the Turles looked like running away with a convincing win at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium.
However, Armed Forces were not going to take another defeat and Jerry (65th) and Christie Jayaseelan (76th) made it 2-2 for a frustrating night for the Turtles.
In another match played at the Selayang Stadium, Felda United moved back to the top of the league on goal difference despite a scoreless draw against Lions XII. Felda and Perak, who drew 0-0 with Kelantan on Friday, have eight points each. JDT, Terengganu and Kelantan have seven points each but in third, fourth and fifth place respectively on goal difference.
SUPER LEAGUE RESULTS (March 7)
Pahang 2 Sime Darby 0
JDT 2 Sarawak 1
Felda United 0 Lions XII 0
Terengganu 2 Armed Forces 2
Police 1 Selangor 4
PICTURES by www.asiana.my