JDT down 10-man Felda in MSL title decider

Following a 3-2 win over Felda United in Jengka, Johor Darul Ta’zim’s (JDT) seven-point lead at the top with just three matches to go just about guarantees a record third straight Malaysia Super League (MSL) title. 

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) need just three points from their remaining three matches to wrap up a third Malaysia Super League (MSL) title – a feat never achieved before.

The Southern Tigers prevailed in a five-goal thriller against their only competitors for the title, Felda United, at the Tun Abdul Razak Stadium in Jengka on Wednesday.

Mario Gomez’ side, who started the first half with all guns blazing, took a two-goal lead through Amri Yahyah and MSL top scorer Juan Martin Lucero and were unlucky not to have more after seeing two attempts cleared off the line.

JDT skipper Safiq Rahim also had a goal disallowed despite television replays showing the ball had crossed the line after hitting the underside of the crossbar in the first half. Gomez and Safiq confronted the match officials at half-time.

“At least one or two of that was a goal. Everyone watching on television could see that. But anyway, we played very well and I am happy … but we are not champions yet. We still need three points,” said Gomez in a pitch side interview

The Fighters, staying true to their name, refused to lay low as Syahid Zaidon and former JDT lad Hadin Azman levelled the tie before the break.

Felda needed three points to have a fighting chance for the MSL title but their quest, however, was made tougher after Nor Fazly Alias picked up his second yellow card in the 59th minute. JDT scored through Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak barely a minute later.

Tempers flared towards the end of the match after Amri’s reckless challenge on Ridzuan Abdunloh in the 81st minute.

The players tussled and fans threw objects into the pitch. The fans stopped but a few minutes later the match was forced to be suspended after objects were thrown again.

“I’m not saying we are giving up but it’s clear that JDT are going to win the league title. I don’t see them dropping points. We fought hard today, even going a man down, but in the end we have ourselves to blame here,” said Irfan.

“We allowed JDT too much space in the first half and they made use of it. JDT by-passed our midfield and played long balls, which we didn’t read well. Now, we will turn our attention to the Malaysia Cup.”

JDT play Terengganu, T-Team and Selangor in their remaining matches while Felda have ties against T-Team, Sarawak and Kedah.