JDT inconsistency continues after shock Perak defeat

Johor Darul Ta’zim’s inconsistent form in the Malaysia Super League continued on Friday evening as they were beaten 2-1 by Perak at the Perak Stadium.

JDT were initially on course for a second straight win – something they have been unable to achieve thus far in the league so far this season – when they broke the deadlock six minutes before the half-hour mark.

It was Junior Eldstal who provided them with the breakthrough as he reacted instinctively inside the six-yard box to divert Aidil Zafuan’s blistering drive past Zamir Selamat.

But in the 48th minute, the hosts pulled level after Nurridzuan Abu Hassan curled a right-wing freekick towards the near post, where opposition striker Alhaji Kamara inexplicably tried to clear it with a diving header and could only help the ball into the bottom corner.

Just two minutes later, Perak took the lead after Fikri Sudin’s cross to the back post was nodded by Horace James into the path of Charles Souza Chad, who slid in to stab the ball home from a couple of yards out.

Despite their best efforts, the visitors were just unable to find an equaliser in the remainder of the game and were ultimately dealt their second defeat of the campaign.

The result means the defending champions have only won four of their opening nine matches of the campaign and currently find themselves fourth on the table, while Perak have surpassed all expectations so far in 2015 and are just one point behind in fifth.

Perak: Zamir Selamat, Tuah Iskandar, Raffi Nagoorgani, Thiago Junio, Idris Ahmad, Nasir Basharuddin (Nor Hakim Isa 81’), Hisyamudin Sha’ari, Fikri Sudin (Ridzuan Azly 71’), Horace James, Nurridzuan Abu Hassan, Charles Souza Chad (Syazwan Roslan 90’).

Johor Darul Ta’zim: Izham Tarmizi, S. Kunanlan (S. Chanturu 73’), Aidil Zafuan, Marcos Antonio (Fadhli Shas 18’), Asraruddin Putra Omar, Junior Eldstal, Hariss Harun, Safiq Rahim, Amri Yahyah (Safee Sali 83’), Patito Rodriguez, Alhaji Kamara.

DPMM down S.League leaders Warriors to stay unbeaten

DPMM FC remain unbeaten in the 2015 S.League season after recording a 3-1 win over leaders Warriors FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

The Bruneian outfit took the lead after seven minutes when Rafael Ramazotti towered above a sea of players to meet Azwan Ali’s right-wing freekick, before powering a header past Daniel Ong from eight yards out.

Just four minutes later, DPMM doubled their lead after Azwan intercepted a stray pass from Kevin McCann and slipped a lovely pass through to Ramazotti, who made no mistake in lifting his shot past the onrushing Ong.

Warriors did manage to reduce the deficit three minutes before the hour mark through a Nicolas Velez strike; the Argentine finding space just inside the box following a short corner routine before curling a lovely shot into the far corner.

Both sides were then reduced to ten men in the 71st minute when Velez and DPMM midfielder Joe Gamble were sent off for an off-the-ball altercation, after players from both sides had clashed following a poor challenge by McCann on Paulo Sergio.

From then on, it was always going to be tough for the hosts in their bid for an equaliser, and it was their opponents who looked the likelier to add to their tally as gaps began to appear in the Warriors backline.

And in injury-time, DPMM went on to seal the win when they were Sergio confidently sent Ong the wrong way from the penalty spot, after the Portuguese had been brought down by Ong inside the area.

Despite the result, the Warriors remain top of the table but are now only two points ahead of Albirex Niigata (S) and third-placed DPMM, who still have two games in hand.

Warriors FC: Daniel Ong, Nur Asyidiq (Fazli Jaffar 90’), Daniel Bennett, Marin Vidosevic, Irwan Shah, Thomas Beattie (Hafiz Rahim 46’), Emmeric Ong (Shi Jiayi 67’), Kevin McCann, Nicolas Velez, Miroslav Pejic, Fazrul Nawaz.

DPMM FC: Wardun Yussof, Aminuddin Zakwan, Boris Raspudic, Brian McLean, Sairol Sahari, Helmi Zambin (Ak Yura Indera Putera 62’), Joe Gamble, Hendra Azam (Rosmin Kamis 80’), Azwan Ali, Paulo Sergio, Rafael Ramazotti.

T-Team stay top with sixth straight win; Kedah edge Sabah

T-Team remained on top of the Malaysia Premier League on Friday evening after making it six wins in a row by beating SPA FC 2-0 at the MBPJ Stadium.

The Titans initially struggled to break down their bottom-placed opponents in the opening 45, but just three minutes after halftime, the breakthrough arrived when Nor Hakim Hassan fired them ahead.

However, the visitors were unable to make sure of the three points until the 90th minute when in-form striker Farhod Tadjiyev notched his ninth goal of the campaign to seal the win.

The result was enough to see T-Team stretch their lead at the summit to two points after Sabah lost 2-1 to Kedah, who moved up to second place in the process.

Sabah got off to a dream start at the Likas Stadium when Joel Chianese broke the deadlock in the opening minute, only for Chidi Edeh to equalise for the visitors two minutes into the second half.

From then on, it was Kedah who looked more likely to go on and claim maximum points and the winner eventually came in the third minute of injury-time; Edeh turning provider as he laid on an assist for Syafiq Ahmad to score and hand his side their fourth consecutive victory.

Over at the Darulmakmur Stadium, there was a real thriller as Kuantan and Kuala Lumpur played out a 3-3 draw.

Kuantan were initially cruising to victory as Afif Asyraf Zabawi opened the scoring after 11 minutes, before Fabrice Noel doubled their advantage four minutes later.

Nonetheless, Hattaphon Bun An pulled one back for the visitors in the 26th minute, and the former T-Team striker netted again seven minutes after the break to level the scores.

It then looked as though Kuala Lumpur had pulled off a remarkable come-from-behind win when Ogunboye Iyanu put them ahead in the 71st minute, but deep into injury-time, Milan Purovic struck to earn the hosts a share of the spoils.

Finally, in Friday’s early game, PKNS FC finally snapped a run of four straight draws as they cruised to a 4-1 rout of UiTM FC at the UiTM Stadium.

It was UiTM who started the brighter of the two sides and they found themselves ahead at the break courtesy of Dao Bakary’s 43rd-minute opener, only to hand their opponents the equaliser when captain Aiman Syazwan Abdullah scored an own-goal six minutes after the restart.

Gonzalo Soto then scored to put the visitors ahead in the 63rd minute, and the contest was effectively over with ten minutes remaining when Arip Amiruddin made it 3-1.

But just for good measure, Gabriel Guerra added a fourth in the 91st minute to round off the scoring and add the gloss on a fine display from PKNS, who moved fourth spots up to fifth in the process.

Friday’s Malaysia Premier League Results

UiTM FC 1-4 PKNS FC

SPA FC 0-2 T-Team

Sabah 1-2 Kedah

Kuantan 3-3 Kuala Lumpur

Spirited Harimau Muda fight back for Hougang draw

Ten-man Harimau Muda produced a determined display on Thursday to come from behind twice and force a 3-3 draw against Hougang United in the S.League.

It was the Cheetahs who got off to a dream start at the Hougang Stadium as they took the lead after nine minutes, when Nurhilmi Jasni climbed high to meet Shunsuke Nakatake’s corner and firmly nodded the ball past Ramdhan Hamid.

Eight minutes later, it was 2-0 when the hosts made the most of another set-piece situation; Kunihiro Yamashita meeting another excellent delivery by Nakatake and sending a powerful header into the back of the net.

Things got from bad to worse for Harimau Muda in the 22nd minute when they were reduced to ten men, after Ramdhan Hamid was shown a straight red for handling the ball outside the box.

But on the stroke of halftime, they were handed a lifeline when referee Nathan Chan awarded them a penalty after Faiz Salleh was penalised for handball inside the area, paving the way for Amirul Hisyam to fire home from 12 yards and pull one back for his side.

Still, Hougang continued to remain in control of proceedings and they reclaimed their two-goal cushion in the 69th minute with a brilliant team goal.

Receiving possession down the left, Manato Takahashi left his opponent for dead before crossing to Chupe, who unselfishly laid a first-time pass back to the edge of the area for Fairoz Hasan to blast past Ilham Amirullah.

Nonetheless, the visitors were awarded another spot-kick ten minutes later when a poor back-header by Lau Meng Meng forced Basil Chan to come off his line, and the goalkeeper was only able to hack down Syazwan Andik in a 50-50 challenge.

This time, it was Shahrul Igwan Samsudin who stepped up to the spot but he too showed no signs of nerves as he clinically found the bottom corner to reduce the deficit.

And four minutes from time, the remarkable comeback was completed when Amirul lined up a freekick down the right and curled a dangerous cross inside the area, where Adam Nor Azlin proceeded to tower above a sea of players and send an unstoppable header into the bottom corner to force the draw.

Despite failing to extend their winning streak, the result means Harimau Muda are now unbeaten in their last four matches and they are only behind fourth-placed Balestier Khalsa on goal difference.

Meanwhile, the Cheetahs’ woes continue as they remain winless after eight matches and are only above bottom side Courts Young Lions in the table, and already the pressure is mounting on coach Salim Moin.

Hougang United: Basil Chan, Lau Meng Meng, Kenneth Chang, Kunihiro Yamashita, Faiz Salleh, Renshi Yamaguchi, Shunsuke Nakatake, Nurhilmi Jasni, Muhaymin Salim (Fairoz Hasan 62’), Manato Takahasi, Chupe (Fareez Farhan 80’).

Harimau Muda: Ramdhan Hamid, Amirul Ikmal (Ilham Amirullah 24’), Annas Rahmat, Wan Ahmad Amirzafran, Nazirul Naim, D. Kenny Pallraj, Amirul Hisyam, Shahrul Igwam Samsudin (Syawal Nordin 90’), Adam Nor Azlin, Ridzuan Abdunloh (Syazwan Andik 71’), Syafwan Syahlan.

Buriram’s last-16 hopes dented; Binh Duong eliminated from ACL

Buriram United’s hopes of qualifying for the AFC Champions League Round of 16 were dealt a real blow on Wednesday as they were beaten 2-1 by Seongnam FC in Group F.

The Thai giants found themselves behind at the Tancheon Sports Complex when Kim Do-heon converted from the penalty spot, after his initial shot from inside the area was adjudged to have been blocked by Narubadin Weerawatnodom with his hand.

Seven minutes before the break, Seongnam extended their lead when Nam Joon-jae was left completely unmarked inside the six-yard box to meet Kim Do-heon’s dangerous freekick with a thumping header into the back of the net.

The visitors did reduce the deficit with 13 minutes remaining when Diogo reacted quickest to Korawit Narmwiset’s flick-on header and nodded the ball home from close range.

However, they were just unable to find an equaliser in the remainder of the contest and fell to their second straight defeat, following another 2-1 loss to Gamba Osaka at the start of the month.

The result, coupled with Gamba’s 5-0 thrashing of Guangzhou R&F, means that for the first time in the campaign, Buriram are out of the top two in Group F and face the realistic prospect of missing out on a place in the Round of 16.

Given Gamba’s better head-to-head record, the only way the Thunder Castle can now qualify is if they can better the J.League 1 champions’ result against already-qualified Seongnam on May 6 in their clash with Guangzhou R&F.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese side Becamex Binh Duong’s hopes of advancing from Group E were officially ended after they lost to Shandong Luneng Taishan 3-1 at the Jinan Olympic Sports Center Stadium.

Binh Duong actually got off to a fine start as they edged ahead in the 19th minute when Nguyen Tang Tuan won possession off Dai Lin just outside the box and the ball eventually broke to Nguyen Trong Hoang, who coolly slotted through the legs of Wang Dalei.

But eight minutes later, the hosts drew level after Yang Xu out-jumped David Vrankovic inside the area to meet Diego Tardelli’s right-wing cross and send a header into the top corner.

Tardelli was the provider again as the Chinese Super League side took the lead a minute after the hour mark; Junior Urso making a late run into the box to meet his compatriot’s low pass and got enough on his shot to put the ball over the line before Au Van Hoan cleared it away.

And in the 70th minute, Shandong went on to seal the victory as Yang again got the better of Vrankovic to break free inside the box, before somehow managing to force the ball past the onrushing Nguyen Quoc Thien Esele for his side’s third goal.

There is now mathematically no way Binh Duong can progress to the knockout stage and they are already consigned to finishing bottom of the group, while Kashiwa Reysol and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors currently occupy the top two.

Wednesday’s AFC Champions League Results (East Zone)

Group E

Kashiwa Reysol 3-2 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Shandong Luneng Taishan 3-1 Becamex Binh Duong

Group F

Seongnam FC 2-1 Buriram United

Guangzhou R&F 0-5 Gamba Osaka

LIONSXII, Pahang book last-four berths in Malaysia FA Cup

LIONSXII are through to the semi-finals of the Malaysia FA Cup after beating Johor Darul Ta’zim II 2-0 on Wednesday to claim a 4-0 aggregate win in their quarter-final tie.

The Singaporean outfit took the lead at the Pasir Gudang Corporation Stadium after 18 minutes when Khairul Nizam was left in acres of space inside the area, and met Khairul Amri’s freekick with a glancing header into the back of the net.

Four minutes after the hour mark, the visitors went on to seal their progress by putting the result beyond doubt; Faris Ramli leading a counterattack before playing a visionary through-ball to find the run of Nazrul Nazari, who advanced on goal before coolly finishing past Afiff Aizad Azman.

Wednesday’s other quarter-final tie saw Pahang book their place in the last four with a 4-2 aggregate triumph over Penang, after both sides had played out a 2-2 draw at the Bandaraya Stadium.

Heading into the tie leading 2-0 from the first leg, Pahang further extended their lead when Dickson Nwakaeme opened the scoring in the sixth minute, before the contest was effectively ended when the Nigerian struck again just five minutes later.

The visitors did however manage to reduce the deficit in the 77th minute through a strike from Hilton Moreira, who popped up once more with three minutes to remaining to level the scores on the night.

Nonetheless, the Brazilian’s efforts did little more than add some respectability to the scoreline as Tok Gajah went on to deservingly move one step closer to the FA Cup final.

The semi-final line-up will now see Kelantan take on Pahang while LIONSXII will meet Terengganu, with the first legs and second legs set to take place on May 8 and 9 and May 15 and 16 respectively.

Wednesday’s Malaysia FA Cup Quarter-final Second Leg Results

Johor Darul Ta’zim II 0-2 LIONSXII (0-4 on aggregate)

Penang 2-2 Pahang (2-4 on aggregate)

Tampines denied late on by Balestier; Albirex held by Home

Tampines Rovers went a third game without victory in the S.League on Wednesday after being held to a 1-1 draw by Balestier Khalsa at the Toa Payoh Stadium.

The Stags were initially on course for victory after taking the lead three minutes before the half-hour mark, when Rodrigo Tosi climbed highest inside the box to head home a Roberto Alviz freekick.

But with two minutes remaining, Balestier were awarded a penalty after Zulfadli Zainal Abidin was penalised for handball inside the area, paving the way for Miroslav Kristic to fire home the equaliser from 12 yards out.

The result means did however end the Stags’ two-game losing streak following consecutive 3-2 defeats to Geylang International and Warriors FC, although they remain sixth on the table and are eight points behind leaders Warriors FC.

Over at the Yishun Stadium, Albirex Niigata (S) saw their five-game winning run finally come to an end as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Home United.

In an evenly-contested clash, it was the White Swans who arguably came closest to grabbing the win but Kento Nagasaki and Fumiya Kogure both had goal-bound efforts expertly kept out by Hyrulnizam Juma’at, while Rion Taki was unlucky to drill a low shot off the foot of the post in the second half.

Home also threatened with Ang Zhiwei coming close inside the opening 20 minutes when he caught Yosuke Nozawa out of position with a clever lob, only for Kento Fujihara to race back in time to head off the line.

In the end, both teams just lacked a cutting edge in the final third and ultimately had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Wednesday’s S.League Results

Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Tampines Rovers

Home United 0-0 Albirex Niigata (S)