MSL Wrap: Felda and JDT show no mercy

League leaders Felda United ripped apart the Cops while Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) win big against Sarawak in a high-scoring mid-week round of Malaysia Super League (MSL) matches. 

Terengganu 2 Perak 3

The Turtles coach Mike Mulvey tore into his defence after shoddy work at the back allowed Perak to record their first win of the season.

The Englishman even threatened to ring in major changes to his squad after labelling his players as “top heavy.”

The defeat was Terengganu’s third consecutive loss but Mulvey was confident the Terengganu management, who abruptly ended Ahmad Yusof’s stay in February, are not keen on another change in the dugout.

Torrid defending saw Terengganu lose. Photo: Terengganu

On Tuesday, Perak took the lead through Fazrul Hazli Kadri but Issey Nakajima-Farran’s spot-kick in the 28th minute ensured the teams entered the break on equal ground.

A double by Brazilian Elias Oliveira gave the visitors breathing space in the second half but Terengganu ensured there were some nervy moments after Nakajima-Farran fired in his second of the night.

Selangor 1 Penang 0

The Red Giants limped to a 1-0 win despite Hafiz Kamal being the only absentee against a fairly average Penang side at Selayang on Wednesday.

Mauro Olivi celebrated his return from a club-imposed suspension following a dressing room bust-up. He swung a free-kick past Sani Anuar Kamsani but the Argentine had little to offer throughout the match as Selangor failed to muster a shot on target thereafter.

Selangor finally earned a clean sheet again. Photo: Selangor

While there were concerns up front for Zainal Abidin Hassan to sort out in the coming days, the win was Selangor’s first since defeating Sarawak 4-2 on March 1 and the first time in almost two months they had recorded a clean sheet.

Felda United 4 PDRM 0

The Fighters are proving to be a tough nut to crack after disposing of PDRM, who entered the match in third-place but later fell to fifth after being torn apart at Tun Abdul Razak Stadium.

With news of JDT enjoying a comfortable lead against Sarawak at Larkin probably reaching Irfan Bakti Abu Salim at half-time, Felda kept their foot on the gas pedal in search of goals.

Lutfulla Turaev’s second goal of the night and Francis Forkey Doe’s icing on the cake in the final minutes of the match ensured Felda had the most points, scored the most goals and conceded the least goals at this stage of the season.

Felda are marching on. Photo: Felda

Winger Christie Jayaseelan scored the opener in the 21st minute. It was his second goal in three games, prompting suggestions he could be in Ong Kim Swee’s next national team squad.

Johor Darul Ta’zim 5 Sarawak 2

The defending champions made only four changes to the squad that were beaten by Kedah in the FA Cup semi-final first-leg on Saturday.

The likes of Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Juan Martin Lucero and Safiq Rahim starting at Larkin suggested how seriously the club took the K. Rajagobal-led Sarawak.

The Crocs put up a fight in the opening 15 minutes, even cancelling out Diaz’ fifth-minute opener through K. Gurusamy, but the match was done and dusted by the end of the first half as the Southern Tigers raced to a 5-1 lead with goals Marcos Antonio, Lucero, Shahrol Saperi (own goal) and Fazly Mazlan.

JDT bounced back from defeat with comfortable win. Photo: JDT

Fadhli Shas’ own goal reduced the deficit on the hour mark minute but JDT never seemed to be in danger of losing three points, even after the star-studded club eased their pressure on Sarawak in the second half by taking off Diaz and Lucero.

Pahang 4 Kelantan 3

Finally, 2015 MSL top scorer Dramane Traore scored his first goal for the Red Warriors but it was not enough to prevent Pahang from recording their second win of the season.

Razip Ismail’s appointment at Pahang seems to have changed their fortunes since losing five of their opening six games of the season. The Elephants have won two of their three games under Razip’s watch, and moved away from the relegation zone for the first time this season after defeating their East Coast rivals.

Dalibor Volas, criticised by the fans for a slow start to his career in Kuantan, scored his fifth goal of the season while German Pacheco gave Pahang the lead going in at half-time. Faisal Rosli doubled their lead three minutes after the break but Kelantan refused to throw in the towel.

Blaze Ilijoski scored from the spot to take his tally to six goals, one shy of leading scorer Patrick Wleh of Selangor, and Khairul Izuan Rosli fired an equaliser in the 78th minute. The match was heading for a draw but Pacheco doubled his personal tally to give Pahang three valuable points.

T-Team 4 Kedah 1

There is a team on the rise on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia and it is not one of the three big guns – Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang.

Up stepped T-Team, a team that only made the MSL by a stroke of luck after LionsXII were booted out. The Titans recorded their third straight win to move up the ladder to fourth. The club’s only defeats have come against leaders Felda and JDT.

Kedah named only one change – Ariff Farhan replacing injured Sandro da Silva Mendonca – from the side that defeated JDT in the Cup tie and the players looked tired from their weekend’s exploits.

Kedah were unable to replicate their heroics from last game. Photo: Kedah

Asrol Ibrahim gave the hosts the lead in the 11th minute but Baddrol Bakhtiar levelled terms before half-time. Rahmad Darmawan’s charges ran riot in the second half with goals from Makan Konate, Ahmad Takhiyuddin Roslan and Safawi Rasid.

Main Photo: Felda