JDT lose but still celebrate record fourth straight title

Selangor may have defeated Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) 2-1 in Selayang but it was the latter who had more reasons to celebrate as results elsewhere ensured a record fourth successive Malaysia Super League (MSL).

Kedah's defeat to Pahang by the same scoreline in Kuantan meant the MSL trophy stayed down south. JDT also won the league title in 2014,2015 and 2016.

JDT, who have an unassailable 11-point lead at the top of the standings with three rounds of matches left to play, can now shift their attention to the Malaysia Cup, which is the only silverware missing from their trophy cabinet.

Insa scored JDT's solitary goal

The visitors started strongly in Selayang, dominating the match but found it difficult to break through Selangor's tight defence and it took a wonder strike by former Levante midfielder Natxo Insa to break the deadlock in the 39th minute.

The Red Giants upped the ante after the break and applied pressure on the JDT on every occasion, forcing them into errors.

Amri Yahyah, who left JDT at the end of last season, equalised in the 49th minute from a tight angle while Andik Vermansyah scored the winner in the 77th minute.

The results also mean the fifth-placed Selangor are still within a shout of finishing second along with four other teams – Kedah, Pahang, Felda United and Perak.

Selangor won the battle, but it was JDT who won the war

In Kuantan, Pahang took the lead through Yamil Romero in the 64th minute before Syafiq Ahmad drew level in the 78th minute, only for Brazilian Matheus Alves to put the Elephants in front again two minutes later.

Pahang are still in third despite the win but are now merely one point away from Kedah, who have 34 points. Felda, Selangor and Perak all have 30 points.

Penang have 12 and look consigned for the Malaysia Premier League (MPL) in 2018 while Sarawak have 17.

Sarawak, meanwhile earned three valuable points after defeating bottom-placed Penang 2-0 in Kuching.

The Crocs are still in the relegation zone at 11th but are only one point shy of Melaka United and Kelantan. Penang have 12 and look consigned for the Malaysia Premier League (MPL) in 2018 while Sarawak have 17.

Eight-placed T-Team, who have 19 points, will also be cautious as they have matches against fellow relegation battlers Penang and Sarawak in their three remaining matches.

Photos: Asiana.my