FA Cup Wrap: Lucero hands lacklustre JDT precious advantage

Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) had their Argentine hitman to thank for their first-leg win at PDRM, with Kedah and PKNS similarly enjoying wins on Saturday. 

Sabah 1 Kedah 2

Igor Cerina’s stoppage-time header kept Sabah alive in the competition after the visitors took their foot off the pedal at Likas Stadium on Friday.

Sabah, who have yet to win in five Malaysia Premier League (MPL) matches, kept Kedah at bay for 38 minutes despite the visitors knocking on their doors on several occasions. Bang Seung-Hwan’s header in the first half and Baddrol Bakhtiar’s strike in the 69th minute gave Kedah a comfortable lead, only for Cerina to spoil the party.

Kedah should be confident of wrapping the tie at Darul Aman Stadium next month. The Red Eagles are sixth in the Malaysia Super League (MSL), while Sabah are lingering second from bottom in the MPL.

PDRM 0 Johor Darul Ta’zim 1

The Southern Tigers never really got going in this one despite starting with a near full strength line-up.

The biggest talking point was the inclusion of S. Chanturu on the bench just a day after he was replaced in the Malaysian squad because of injury. He came on at half-time and it may spark a club versus country row as the national team had received word that the winger picked-up a knock to his shin earlier in the week and was not available for selection.

It was a rather dull affair at the Hang Jebat Stadium as neither teams took charge of the match. Juan Martin Lucero, who earned a penalty and then scored the winner from the spot in the 18th minute, appeared like a passenger in the side.

Perak 1 Kuala Lumpur 0

Uzbek Vokhid Shodiev will be left kicking himself if Kuala Lumpur stage a comeback in the second leg.

The 29-year-old missed several sitters during the game, including a chance that would have been easier to score from late in the first-half, typical of how Perak’s attack has been for the vast majority of this season – impotent.

The hosts took the lead when Helmi Remeli deflected in a rebound after Badrulzaman Abdul Halim initially kept out Thiago Junior Aquino’s header seven minutes into the match.

KL’s bid to find the equaliser was subsequently denied by a mix of brilliant defending and goalkeeping. The Perak defence has only conceded four times in all competitions thus far, while rookie goalkeeper Hafizul Hakim Khirul Nizam has done well in the absence of regular No.1 Zamir Selamat.

Sime Darby 0 PKNS 4

Selangor-based PKNS are virtually through to the last four after a convincing win over struggling Sime Darby at Selayang Stadium on Saturday.

The biggest surprise of the night was that PKNS’ leading goalscorer Gabriel Guerra, who had scored six in seven outings prior to visiting Sime Darby, did not find the back of the net.

The Argentine almost opened the scoring in the ninth minute but was kept at bay by Sime Darby for most parts of the match.

Matias Nicholas put the Red Ants ahead in the 19th minute but it wasn’t until Mateo Roskam’s sending off in the 52nd minute then the goals started flowing.

Juan Manuel Cobelli netted a brace in the 52nd and 79th minute while Nazrin Syamsul Bahri wrapped up proceedings in the 84th minute.

Photos: Football Malaysia LLP