Johor Darul Ta’zim came from behind to beat Sarawak 2-1 in the Malaysia Super League at the Larkin Stadium to snap a three-game winless run in all competition.
After a 1-0 loss and 1-1 draw in the league against PDRM and Selangor respectively was followed by a Malaysia FA Cup first round exit at the hands of Pahang, Harimau Selatan entered Saturday’s clash desperate to get back to winning ways.
It looked as though things were going to get worse for them as Sarawak took the lead four minutes before the half-hour mark; Billy Mehmet beating the offside trap and latching onto Ivan Fatic’s through-pass before coolly slotting past Farizal Marlias into the bottom corner.
However, the hosts equalised in the 39th minute when Safiq Rahim lined up a freekick on the edge of the box and sent a trademark sublime effort into the far corner.
And three minutes before halftime, Safiq netted what proved to be the winner when he latched onto a loose ball deep inside the opposition half and proceeded to send a 25-yard drive into the bottom corner.
The result was enough to send Darul Ta’zim up to third on the table and level on points with Terengganu, who missed the chance to go top after a 2-2 draw with ATM at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium.
Having edged ahead in the 33rd minute through a Paulo Rangel penalty, the Turtles doubled their lead three minutes into the second half when the Brazilian grabbed his second goal of the evening.
But five minutes after the hour mark, Jerry Palacios pulled one back for the Armed Forces and D. Christie Jayaseelan then struck in the 76th minute to complete the comeback and earn a point for the visitors.
FELDA United reclaimed top spot ahead of Perak – but only on goal difference – after being held to a 0-0 draw by LIONSXII at the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang Stadium.
Both sides had their fair share of chances but it was arguably the Singaporean outfit who came closer to grabbing maximum points, as Madhu Mohana had a header ruled out for offside while Khairul Amri hit the bar with an excellent freekick.
Meanwhile, Selangor picked up their first victory of the campaign after cruising to a 4-1 triumph over PDRM at the MBPJ Stadium.
The Red Giants broke the deadlock through Ahmad Hazwan Bakri’s 24th-minute opener, before Afiq Azmi added to their tally a minute after halftime.
Dramane Traore did reduce the deficit for PDRM two minutes before halftime to give his side a glimmer of hope but Abdul Hadi Yahya restored the visitors’ two-goal cushion in the 74th minute, which was followed by a fourth goal from Guilherme four minutes later to complete the rout.
Finally, Pahang also managed to win for the first time this season after beating Sime Darby 2-0, courtesy of goals from Zesh Rehman and R. Gopinathan.
Saturday’s Malaysia Super League Results
FELDA United 0-0 LIONSXII
Johor Darul Ta’zim 2-1 Sarawak
Pahang 2-0 Sime Darby
PDRM 1-4 Selangor
Terengganu 2-2 ATM