Lions in Malaysia: Hariss closes in on fifth MSL title; Faris’ nasi lemak royale treat

FourFourTwo brings you a weekly watch on what the stars of Singapore football Shahdan Sulaiman, Faris Ramli, Safuwan Baharudin and Hariss Harun are up to both on and off the pitch in Malaysia.

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Shahdan Sulaiman – Melaka United

Despite playing the full 90 minutes, midfielder Shahdan Sulaiman could not prevent Melaka United from a 4-0 spanking by reigning Malaysia Super League (MSL) champs Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT).

The Southern Tigers were already a goal up at half-time, but went on a romp after break to condemn Sang Kancil to their ninth defeat for the season.

30-year-old Shahdan came head-to-head against Singapore Lions teammate Hariss Harun, but it was JDT’s Fernando Elizari that did the damage to Melaka – chipping in with a goal and two assists.

Melaka, who dropped to eighth in the standings with 20 points, take on Kedah FA next in the league on Tuesday, July 10.

Faris Ramli – PKNS FC

Oh my, it never rains but pours this week for winger Faris Ramli and PKNS FC.

After playing in their 4-0 loss to Selangor FA last Saturday in the FA Cup, the Singapore international had to settle for a place on the Red Ants’ bench against Kedah FA.

Last night at the Darul Aman Stadium, Helang Merah stormed to a two-goal lead before the break with Brazilian striker Paulo Rangel opening the scoring in the 17th minute and Indonesian winger Andik Vermansyah added a second.

Eventually, PKNS sent Faris on to try to stage a comeback but it proved to be too much and the game finished 2-0 to Kedah. The Red Ants, who remain in sixth with 23 points, are scheduled to clash with Selangor this Saturday in the second-leg of the FA Cup semi-finals.

And Faris and co couldn’t have asked for a better shot in the arm as they search for their first win in three than a morale-boosting meal of nasi lemak.

The Singaporean, who was spotted at Nasi Lemak Royale Jalil Alor Setar, opted for the coconut rice dish which is beloved in both Singapore and Malaysia!

Safuwan Baharudin – Pahang FA

Lightning struck twice for Safuwan Baharudin and Pahang FA in the league and domestic cup.

Following a 1-1 draw against PKNP FC over the weekend, the Elephants, together with midfielder Safuwan, were held to their second 1-1 draw of the week at the Darul Makmur Stadium against Selangor FA.

With the first half finishing goalless, 26-year-old Safuwan was on hand to witness his team’s breakthrough in the 49th minute when fellow midfielder Wan Zaharulnizam Wan Zakaria struck.

But Pahang’s happiness was short-lived as the Red Giants replied shortly through Spanish forward Rufino Segovia.

With 17 league games gone, Pahang FA, who dropped to fourth with 28 points, trail table leaders JDT by 16 points. They will take one more step towards FA Cup glory if they can overcome PKNP this Sunday in the semi-finals second-leg tie!

Hariss Harun – Johor Darul Ta’zim FC

Hungry for his fifth MSL league title, midfielder Hariss Harun and JDT took another big step to the trophy by ruthlessly dispatching Melaka United 4-0!

Although the Harimau Selatan number 14 did face a familiar friend in the form of Shahdan Sulaiman, there was no room for sentiment as the Southern Tigers went ahead via Argentine forward Fernando Marquez in the 41st minute.

JDT, marshalled in midfield by 27-year-old Hariss, then further turned the screws on Sang Kancil in the second period as Fernando Elizari, Safawi Rasid and substitute Nazmi Faiz all found the back of the Melaka net.

The Southern Tigers, who are top with 44 points, are now just one win away from clinching the title. They have a 13-point lead over second-placed Perak TBG who they face next in the league on Wednesday, July 11.