The three-week international break is a welcome time out for teams – hoping to take the opportunity to plug the loopholes in their respective teams and improve their positions – while defending champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) tightened their grip on the Super League.
There is no stopping the Southern Tigers from clinching their sixth successive League Cup which they first won in 2014 and have become the envy of others, especially teams like Pahang, Selangor, Kedah, and Melaka United.
Others like Terengganu, Perak, PKNS FC were also harping on throwing in their challenge but as usual, that challenge has faded away.
JDT, the first team from Malaysia to play in the AFC Champions League, has shown that the Johor outfit is here to stay although it is out of the FA Cup which has reached the semi-final sta stage with defending champions Pahang, Perak, Kedah, and surprise package Felda United to battle for a place in the final.
For the record, Felda United is languishing at the bottom of the 12-team Super League is doomed for relegation to the lower tier Premier League.
On Sunday the Southern Tigers beat Kedah 2-0 at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Bahru. A day earlier Melaka United handed Perak a 3-2 defeat at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh.
JDT “played good football and won three important points” as they won their 12th match in 15 matches for 39 points – 13 more than second-placed Pahang (with a game in hand) on 26 points.
Three teams – Kedah (23-15 tally), Melaka (23-18) and Selangor (22-23) – are bunched on 22 points, separated by goal difference. Terengganu is sixth on 20 points followed by PKNS (19).
A sweet left-footed strike into the right corner by Leandro Velasquez on 33 minutes and a one by international Safawi Rasid late in the match gave JDT a 2-0 win. Kedah was reduced to 10-players after 70 minutes when Rizal Ghazali was sent off for an early shower for a blatant foul on Gonzalo Cabrera. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH