MSL Wrap: Selangor and Felda get winning starts, draws elsewhere
Bogged with constant trouble off the field, P. Maniam’s Selangor started the season with a 2-0 win over Penang, a much needed boost to the 2017 Malaysia Super League (MSL) campaign.
The Red Giants are expected to have things difficult in 2017 following a management and financial turmoil that led to the departure of a host of established players such as skipper Shahrom Kalam, 2016 most valuable player Ahmad Hazwan Bakri and speedster R. Gopinathan.
Yet Selangor lived to fight another day, with the likes of Malaysia under-19 skipper Syahmi Safari, Adam Nor Azlin and Saiful Ridzuwan Selamat making the most of their opportunity at the Selayang Stadium on Saturday.
Adam bagged the opening goal by pouncing on rebound in the 34th minute after Syed Adney Syed Hussein saved Ugo Ukah’s header. Selangor doubled their league through Francis Forkey Doe after capitalising on a poor clearance by Adney just before the break.
Penang, who escaped relegation on the final day of the season last year, were no benchmark for Maniam and his charges, but a win will lift the mood around the club.
Felda United were the only other team to record victory on Matchday 1 following their 1-0 win over newly-promoted PKNS.
The Fighters, with a relatively new look squad and coaching line-up headed by Azmi Mohamed, collected three points after Malaysian international Norshahrul Idlan Talaha found the back of the net in the 68th minute.
In other matches, Perak’s Thiago Aquino cancelled out Ahmad Syamim Yahya’s Pahang debut goal to share the spoils in Ipoh while Mateo Roskam marked his MSL return with an equaliser for Sarawak to deny T-Team a home a win.
Defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) were held by Kedah 1-1 in the season curtain-raiser on Friday. The Red Eagles went on to lift the Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup after winning the resulting shootout 5-4.
The Kelantan-Malacca match in Kota Bahru was postponed due to weather conditions.
MSL 2017 Round 1 Results
JDT 1-1 Kedah
Selangor 2-0 Penang
Felda United 1-0 PKNS
T-Team 1-1 Sarawak
Perak 1-1 Pahang
Kelantan P-P Malacca