Craig Morraies rounds up all the action as we look back on Round 17 of the 2014 Malaysian Super League…
Bos Gaurus run wild
Despite being the home side, Perak were pretty much the underdogs going into the match against Sarawak, who were in a rich vein of form and confident of leaving Ipoh with maximum points. However, it was the Seladang side that looked more up for it right from the start and took the lead near the half hour mark thanks to Marco Tulio. Perak went on to score two goals in eight second-half minutes via Milan Purovic and President's Cup graduate Norhakim Isa. Although Bujang Senang striker Ryan Griffiths immediately pulled one back, Tulio hit the nail in the coffin with an exquisite free-kick.
Final Score: Perak 4 Sarawak 1
JDT slay Red Giants
Undoubtedly the game of the weekend, JDT arrived in Shah Alam aiming to trim league leaders Selangor’s lead at the top to two points. Both sides were even in the opening minutes, with both Paolo Rangel and former Selangor hero Amri Yahyah having half chances for their respective teams. However, it was JDT who soon took control of the match and kept knocking on the door, trying to break down Selangor’s stubborn defence. The home side had to rely on counter-attacks to cause damage, but in the end, it was the Southern Tigers who deservingly found the back of the net. The solitary goal of the match came in the 71st minute when Jorge Diaz slid a perfectly weighted through ball for Luciano Figueroa, who managed to nip in ahead of Farizal Marlias to chip the ball into the far post.
Final Score: Selangor 0 JDT 1
Terengganu reign supreme in East Coast derby
Pahang were looking to get back to winning ways and keep in touch with Selangor, but it wasn’t to be for the Elephant Army who found Terengganu a resilient side. With no star striker Matias Conti and Hafiz Kamal in the squad, and Dickson Nwakame on the bench, Pahang looked a little short in confidence despite playing at home. Sensing a chink in their hosts' armour, the Turtles went all out and comfortably secured a 2-0 lead into half-time. Pahang managed to recollect themselves in the second half and a comeback was seemingly on the horizon when Damion Stewart headed past Terengganu custodian Sharbinee Allawee. However, a red card to captain Razman Roslan changed the landscape of the game as Zairo Anuar and Ashaari Shamsuddin went on to score and seal all three points for Terengganu.
Final Score: Pahang 1 Terengganu 4
LionsXII maul the Gladiators
Both LionsXII and ATM went into the game in desperate need of three points to get their seasons back on track and ease the pressure on their respective coaches. The Gladiator’s coach, B. Sathianathan opted for a defensive-minded line-up and played Fabrice Noel upfront on his own, which unfortunately backfired because it gave the LionsXII the lion’s share of possession (no pun intended) and the early chances at goal. Thanks to Khairul Amri and Zulfahmie Ariffin, they were two-nil up in no time. ATM captain of the day Rezal Zambry managed to pull one back in the 77th minute to make a tense ending to the game, but the young Lions side showed great resilience to see out the result.
Final Score: Lion XII 2 ATM 1
Planters bury Red Ants
Sime Darby knew PKNS, who have been on a long winless run, were there for the taking in the Klang Valley derby, so they came out of the blocks straight away. Sime Darby captain Fadzli Saari quickly got the game underway with a goal in the 2nd minute before two back-to-back goals put the result beyond doubt. To their credit, PKNS kept plugging away and actually managed to score one through Shahrul Azhar, but their gung-ho attacking instincts left themselves exposed at the back, which Sime Darby took full advantage of to grab another goal.
Final Score: Sime Darby 4 PKNS 1
T-Team stun Red Warriors
High on confidence since George Boateng took charge, Kelantan started off the game well against T-Team and even found themselves with a great chance to go ahead at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium. T-Team rode their luck as in the matter of seconds, Wan Zairulnizam struck the post before Brendan Gan’s effort cannoned off the woodwork. However, it was the relegation threatened home team who showed more determination as they aimed to prove a point and protect their top-flight status, with Nizad Ayub leading the way. The former Kelantan man raced clear of the Red Warriors defence and slotted the ball beyond Khairul Fahmi Che Mat in the 49th minute to give his side a 1-0 victory and three massive points.
Final Score: T-Team 1 Kelantan 0
(Photo Credit: Zaid Ayid @ www.asiana.my)