Kelantan and Terengganu were unceremoniously bundled out of the Malaysia Cup, while four teams joined Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT), Selangor and Pahang in the last eight on Wednesday evening.
The remaining quarter-final berth will be decided when Group B concludes its final match on November 21.
Did Kedah spoil the party or did Terengganu turn up a tad too late?
Collecting only one point from the first round of fixtures meant the Turtles had to win their remaining three matches. They defeated Kedah to redeem themselves after an earlier 5-0 trashing in Alor Setar and then edged JDT II 2-1, but LionsXII were a tall order despite the backing of a vociferous home crowd.
Terengganu needed a two-goal win to be certain of the last eight but LionsXII prevailed 2-1 after heavy downpour forced the match to be halted for 30 minutes moments after the hour mark. The score stood at 1-1 with goals from Terengganu’s Dhiyaulrahman Hasry and Sufian Anuar. When play resumed, the pitch conditions restricted movement of the ball and Christopher van Huizen capitalised on the pitch slowing it down to nick the winner in the 88th minute.
In the other match, Kedah clawed back from 2-1 down to defeat JDT II 4-2 in Pasir Gudang with goals from Chidi Edeh, Syazwan Zainon, Syafiq Ahmad dan Liridon Krasniqi ensuring a quarterfinal date against PKNS on November 24 & 28.
LionsXII will test their credentials against defending champions Pahang, who have failed to light up the tournament so far, in the next round.
JDT secured top spot despite not playing after Sarawak were held 2-2 by ATM at the Paroi Stadium. The result means the Southern Tigers, who visit Perak on Thursday, have an unassailable five-point lead at the top.
Sarawak took the lead through Patrick Gerhardt in the 16th minute but Abdulafees Abdulsalam equalised before halftime. Gerhardt turned provider in the second half with a well-timed cross for Ryan Griffiths in the 56th minute. Five minutes later, Jerry Palacious converted a spot kick to draw level.
Sarawak, ATM and Perak are still in the running for second place but JDT could end Perak’s hopes in Ipoh on Thursday.
It was labeled the group of death when the draw was made and it has lived up to billing with 2012 winners Kelantan bowing out.
The East Coast side went into the final day knowing even a win might not have been enough. They defeated T-Team 3-1 in the final game but it proved pointless as Felda United defeated 32-time champions Selangor at the Shah Alam Stadium.
Felda had to endure some nervy moments after Shazlan Alias’s goal gave Selangor the lead going into the break. Felda’s April signing Thiago Fernandes’s brace – his fourth in two games – turned the tie around while Robert Cornthwaite’s own goal gave the Fighters a 3-0 lead. Guilherme de Paula pulled one back in the 89th minute.
Felda meet Malaysia Super League (MSL) and AFC Cup winners JDT in the next round while Selangor await the outcome of Group B.
Who would have expected PKNS, a struggling Malaysia Premier League (MPL) outfit, to top a group that included back-to-back winners Pahang, PDRM and just promoted Penang?
The Red Ants did just that, recording some stunning results including a humiliating 4-1 defeat of Pahang and scoring the most number of goals (12) in the group. Only Kedah has scored more in the competition while JDT, who have two games in hand, have also scored 12 so far.
With Pahang being held to a scoreless draw by Penang in Kuantan, PKNS’s 3-0 win courtesy of goals from Gabriel Guerra, Patrick Wleh and Fazli Baharuddin ensured a quarter-final date with MPL winners Kedah.
Photo: Terengganu FA