MSL Wrap: Pahang win five goal thriller while Sarawak continues winning run
The Malaysia Super League (MSL) resumed for round four after a break for the second stage of the Malaysia FA Cup last Tuesday and Saturday.
All eyes were on Johor Darul Ta’zim and T-Team to see how they reacted after their abandoned FA Cup match was decided upon by the Football Association of Malaysia, who gave the win to the southern-state team, but it was the Titans who rebounded better in the league.
Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) fell to Malaysia Cup Champions Pahang in a five goal thriller in Kuantan. Matias Conti gave the Elephants the lead but Argentinian Playmaker Pablo Aimar equalised for the Southern Tigers just before half time. The second half saw Pahang take the lead again through hot-shot Fauzi Roslan, but national striker Safee Sali once again equalised for JDT. Just as the game was about to end, Hafiz Kamal scored an injury-time winner to give Pahang a hard-fought win and slumped JDT into the bottom half of the table.
Sarawak stretched their winning streak to three games in a row by beating PKNS FC 0-2 away from home. Two early goals from Milorad Janjus and Gabor Gyepes gave the Crocs another win which puts them in the top half of the table by the end of week four.
The Red Giants also picked up three points, after beating Sime Darby 2-1 in another close fought match. Paulo Rangel was once again the hero for Selangor after his goals in each half had canceled any hope for Sime Darby to pick up a win after an early goal from Failee in the 2nd minute of the game. Rangel scored in the 41st minute and 85th minute to give Selangor a much-needed win after they exited the FA Cup last Tuesday.
In Singapore LionsXII could not bounce back from their defeat to Pahang in the FA Cup last Saturday as Terengganu managed to grab a point away from home in a 0-0 draw at Jalan Besar Stadium. The Singaporeans failed to make clear-cut chances while Terengganu managed their defensive line well enough to secure a vital point.
Another team from Terengganu, T-Team also picked up a point despite struggling against a very strong ATM side. The match ended 2-2 with Khairan scoring a dramatic equaliser in the 90th minute to give the home team something to cheer about. The Titans took the lead through Azlan Ismail in the 12th minute but ATM came back and scored two goals through Bruno Martelotto and Fadzly Alias. Khairan scored in the dying seconds to give T-Team a point after a tough week involving their FA Cup fiasco with JDT. ATM could have had a comfortable lead but T-Team goalkeeper Sharil Ashaari made some good saves including stopping a penalty in the second half.
In Ipoh, Kelantan suffered another defeat in the Super League, their second in a row, after a young Perak side continued to impress with a 2-1 victory over the FA Cup champions. Perak took the lead through Ahmad Sukri but import player Mohamed Shawky equalised for the Red Warriors. Khairul Asyraf then scored the winner for Perak to lift the home team to the 8th spot in the league.
Selangor back at the top, with ATM and Terengganu following closely behind, but what’s more interesting in the table after week four is that hot favourites JDT are currently 10th in the table with only four points from a possible 12, just a point behind current MSL Champions LionsXII.
The underdogs continue to impress while the favourites are yet to show their full potential, what an exciting season we have in store.