Johor Darul Ta’zim remain one point clear at the top of the Malaysia Super League despite falling to a shock 2-1 loss to ATM at the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang Stadium on Tuesday.
Harimau Selatan fell behind four minutes before halftime when Bruno Martelotto found the back of the net, before ATM doubled their lead a minute before the hour mark through a strike from Affize Faisal; both goals coming after excellent work in the build-up from Fabrice Noel.
The visitors did however manage to pull one back in the 84th minute when defender Asraruddin Putra Omar popped up at the other end to score and a minute later, they were handed another boost after their opponents had substitute Azrul Ahmad sent off.
The Armed Forces then wasted an excellent chance to kill off the contest in the 90th minute when Rezal Zambery Yahya sent a penalty into the woodwork, although Darul Ta’zim were just unable to find the equaliser and also finished the game with ten men when Aidil Zafuan was issued his marching orders deep into injury-time.
Still, JDT continue to hold the slimmest of leads at the top of the table after second-placed Selangor were beaten 2-0 by Kelantan at the Sultan Mohammad IV Stadium – their second defeat in a row.
Liberia international Francis Forkey Doe sent the Red Warriors on their way after netting in the 22nd minute, before they wrapped up the three points five minutes from time when Wan Zaharulnizam struck a second.
The biggest beneficiaries on Tuesday were Pahang as they moved four points off the pace but even they were not able to fully capitalise after being held to a 1-1 draw at Sarawak.
Matias Conti fired Tok Gajah ahead four minutes after the half-hour mark when he netted on the rebound, after opposition keeper Fadzley Rahim had failed to cleanly gather R. Gopinathan’s initial effort.
But a minute into the second half, Sarawak went on to earn a point when captain Joseph Kalang Tie pounced on a loose ball had fired home after Ashri Chuchu’s tame cross had been spilled by Khairul Azhan Khalid.
Defending champions LIONSXII’s miserable campaign continued as they fell to a 2-1 loss to PKNS FC – their fifth straight away defeat to the Selangor-based side.
Things were initially going well for Fandi Ahmad’s strike as they took a 25th-minute lead courtesy of a terrific strike by Gabriel Quak, but the hosts equalised seven minutes later; Arip Amiruddin beating the offside trap and racing through before slotting through Izwan Mahbud’s legs.
And right after the break, Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh netted the winner with a clinical finish after the LIONSXII defence had failed to deal with a long ball, handing relegation-threatened PKNS their first win in 13 outings and ending a six-game losing streak in the process.
Over at the Perak Stadium, T-Team fell back into the drop zone following a 1-1 draw with Perak.
Although the Titans had drawn first blood when Jimmy Mulisa scored after 12 minutes, Abdulafees Abdulsalam equalised in the 25th minute to force the draw – although the result does neither side any favours.
Finally, Sime Darby secured their top-flight status for another season after coming from behind to force a 2-2 draw against Terengganu at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium.
It looked as though the Turtles were cruising to a routine victory when Mario Karlovic broke the deadlock after five minutes, before Norfarhan Muhammad made it 2-0 ten minutes later.
However, William Mensah headed home Dzulfahmi Abdul Hadi’s cross in the 68th minute to pull one back for the visitors, and two minutes later, Mahmoud Amnah levelled the scores to earn them a share of the spoils.
Tuesday’s Malaysia Super League Results
Terengganu 2-2 Sime Darby
ATM 2-1 Johor Darul Ta’zim
Kelantan 2-0 Selangor
Sarawak 1-1 Pahang
PKNS FC 2-1 LIONSXII
Perak 1-1 T-Team