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.

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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.

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)

Kelantan, Terengganu advance to Malaysia FA Cup semis

Kelantan gave their fans some much-needed cheer on Tuesday evening after beating Sime Darby 3-0 to advance from the quarter-finals of the Malaysia FA Cup with a 4-1 aggregate win.

Talismanic skipper Badhri Radzi handed the hosts the lead at the Sultan Mohammad IV Stadium four minutes before the break when he converted from the penalty spot, before Austin Amutu made it 2-0 with a fine individual strike two minutes before the hour mark.

And any hopes Sime Darby had of mounting a late fightback were extinguished in the 74th minute when Erwin Carrillo made it 3-0, sealing his side’s progress to the semi-finals in the process.

The result means Kelantan remain in contention to win silverware this season, which comes as a massive respite given their disappointing form in the Malaysia Super League.

Just eight matches into the league campaign, the Red Warriors are currently third from bottom and are already ten points behind leaders Selangor, having won just one match so far this season.

In Tuesday’s other match, Terengganu also booked their place in the semis as a 2-0 triumph over Perak at the Perak Stadium handed them a 3-1 aggregate victory.

Paulo Rangel fired the Turtles in front when he netted his second goal in as many games in the 22nd minute, and the result was effectively put beyond doubt as Issey Nakajima-Farran opened his account for the club ten minutes after halftime to double their advantage.

The last four will be completed on Wednesday with the conclusion of the other two quarter-final ties, as Pahang visit Penang with a two-goal cushion, while Johor Darul Ta’zim will be looking to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg against LIONSXII.

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

Kelantan 3-0 Sime Darby (4-1 on aggregate)

Perak 0-2 Terengganu (1-3 on aggregate)

Warriors fight back to go top; three straight wins for Harimau

Warriors FC moved top of the S.League on Monday after coming from behind to record a 2-1 win over Courts Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

It was Young Lions who drew first blood in the 23rd minute after Adam Swandi dispossessed Daniel Bennett and made his way into the area, before clinically slotting his shot into the far corner.

But in the 71st minute, the visitors equalised after Miroslav Pejic found space at the far post to head home a Marin Vidosevic cross for his first goal of the campaign.

And just five minutes later, the comeback was completed when Pejic cleverly brought down Nicolas Velez’s left-wing delivery on his chest before finishing past Syazwan Buhari to win it for his side.

The result was enough to send Warriors top of the table with a three-point lead over Albirex Niigata (S), although third-placed DPMM FC still have two games in hand and could eventually move to the summit.

Meanwhile, Harimau Muda continued their recent resurgence as they recorded a third straight win after beating Geylang International 2-1 at the Hang Jebat Stadium.

Ridzuan Abdunloh fired the Young Tigers in front after just nine minutes when he converted from the penalty spot, after Yuki Ichikawa had needlessly dragged Syafwan Syahlan down inside the area.

Four minutes later, it was 2-0 with Ichikawa the main culprit once more – sending a clearance straight to Akhir Bahari, who immediately spotted Yazid Yasin off his line and proceeded to send a perfectly-weighted lob into the unguarded net.

The visitors were able to reduce the deficit on the stroke of halftime when Jozef Kaplan lined up a freekick on the edge of the box, and sent a scorching effort past Ramdhan Hamid into the top corner.

Nonetheless, Geylang never really looked like threatening their opponents as they lacked any real endeavour and guile, allowing Harimau Muda to hold out for a well-deserved triumph.

Monday’s S.League Results

Courts Young Lions 1-2 Warriors FC

Harimau Muda 2-1 Geylang International

Selangor rout LIONSXII to stay top; JDT down Kelantan

Selangor remained top of the Malaysia Super League on Saturday evening after cruising to a 4-0 win over LIONSXII at the Shah Alam Stadium.

It took the Red Giants just seven minutes to break the deadlock, when LIONSXII’s failure to clear their lines from a freekick allowed Afiq Azmi to pounce on a loose ball and lash home from a couple of yards out.

Just four minutes later, the striker doubled his and his side’s tally when he nicked possession off Zulfahmi Arifin inside the opposition’s six-yard box before slotting past Izwan Mahbud from a tight angle.

In what turned out to be a blistering start, the hosts then firmly took control of proceedings in the 15th minute when Guilherme burst past Nazrul Nazari before squaring a pass to Afiq, who emphatically placed a shot into the top corner to complete his hat-trick.

And with 11 minutes remaining, Selangor went on to complete the rout when they hit their opponents on the counter; Guilherme being allowed to advance into the box and find the bottom corner with a left-footed strike.

FELDA United remain second and behind Selangor only on goal difference after recording an emphatic 3-1 triumph over Terengganu at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium.

Ahmad Syamim Yahya fired FELDA ahead after 19 minutes when he reacted quickest after Sharbinee Allawee Ramli had parried a header back into the danger zone, and smashed home on the rebound.

However, Terengganu equalised three minutes after the hour mark when Paulo Rangel made a darting run into the box to meet Norshahrul Idlan Talaha’s lovely cross with a bullet header past Farizal Harun.

But the visitors were able to reclaim the lead in the 79th minute after Edward Junior Wilson forced his way down the left before floating the ball to the back post, where Ndumba Makeche had ghosted in to score with a simple finish.

Four minutes later, FELDA made sure of the win as Wilson turned provider again, playing an audacious back-heel into the path of Zah Rahan Krangar, who calmly finished past Sharbinee for his side’s third.

Over at the Larkin Stadium, Johor Darul Ta’zim got back to winning ways after coming from behind to beat Kelantan 3-1.

It was Kelantan who drew first blood in the tenth minute, after Austin Amutu did brilliantly to latch on Gilmar’s layoff and burst in between two defenders before firing past the onrushing Izham Tarmizi.

It could easily have been 2-0 a minute later when Gilmar found the back of the net with a simple finish after the ball hard broken to him inside the area, but the goal was ruled out for offside even though replays suggested otherwise.

The hosts made the most of that reprieve when they pulled level in the 18th minute, as Amri Yahyah skipped past his man down the right and swung a dangerous cross into the box, where it was met by Hariss Harun with a thumping header into the back of the net.

Five minutes later, Harimau Selatan edged ahead when Alhaji Kamara escaped his marker’s clutches on the edge of the area before clinically finding the bottom corner with a low shot.

And three minutes before halftime, JDT went on to complete to comeback after adding a third; Amri playing a neat one-two with Kamara outside the area and rifling a left-footed effort past Khairul Fahmi’s despairing dive.

Meanwhile, PDRM also managed to get back on track following defeat last weekend as they cruised to a 4-1 rout of bottom side Sime Darby at the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang Stadium.

Ali Ashfaq opened the scoring for the Cops in the 36th minute when he broke free inside the box and managed to force the ball past opposition keeper Suffian Abdul Rahman, before slotting into the unguarded goal.

Three minutes into the second half, the Maldives international repeated the feat as he managed to nip in ahead of Suffian after a freekick had been deflected into his path and fire home emphatically.

PDRM then made it 3-0 four minutes later and this time it was Mohamadou Sumareh on target, as he climbed highest inside the area to meet Isma Alif’s cross with a deft header into the back of the net.

Sime Darby did reduce the deficit in the 76th minute when Reinaldo da Costa converted from the penalty spot, but any hopes they had of pulling off a fightback were effectively ended nine minutes from time when they had Nur Areff Kamaruddin sent off.

From then on, there was only ever going to be one winner and PDRM went on to complete the rout in the final minute as Fauzi Abdul Majid was picked out unmarked inside the area by V. Thirumurugan’s low cross, and proceeded to curl a first-time effort into the top corner.

Finally, ATM were able to snap a two-game losing streak as they played out a 1-1 draw with Sarawak at the Sarawak State Stadium.

It initially looked as though the Armed Forces were headed for another defeat when Ryan Griffiths fired Sarawak ahead in the 63rd minute, although Jerry Palacious struck the equaliser five minutes later to earn them a share of the spoils.

Saturday’s Malaysia Super League Results

Johor Darul Ta’zim 3-1 Kelantan

Sarawak 1-1 ATM

Selangor 4-0 LIONSXII

Sime Darby 1-4 PDRM

Terengganu 1-3 FELDA United