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

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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)

T-Team maintain winning run; Sabah up to second in MPL

Malaysia Premier League leaders T-Team notched their fifth straight win on Friday evening after recording a 2-0 triumph over UiTM FC at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium.

The Titans got off to a dream start when Farhod Tadjiyev opened the scoring after nine minutes, before Sadriddin Abdullaev added a second two minutes after halftime to effectively put the result beyond doubt.

Nonetheless, the win was tarnished in the 79th minute when Abdullaev was sent off after being shown a straight red, meaning he will be out of next week’s clash against Kuala Lumpur.

The result was enough to keep T-Team one point clear of second-placed Sabah, who were also able to continue their good recent run of form by beating Penang 1-0 at the Likas Stadium.

The hero for the Rhinos was once again Libya international Eamon Zayed, who scored his sixth goal in his last five outings to hand his team maximum points.

Meanwhile, Johor Darul Ta’zim II – tipped by many to challenge for the title before the start of the season – saw their disappointing streak continue as they went a fifth league game without victory after a 1-1 draw with lowly Kuala Lumpur.

Things could have been worse for them as the hosts took the lead at the Merdeka Stadium courtesy of Hattaphon Bun An’s 18th-minute opener, although a Zameer Zainun own-goal ten minutes later helped Harimau Selatan earn a share of the spoils.

Over at the Darul Aman Stadium, Kedah continued their climb up the table as they moved into third spot with a 2-1 triumph over NS Matrix.

After Chidi Edeh had fired the hosts in front in the 12th minute, it looked as though NS Matrix had forced the draw when Jean Alexandre levelled the scores in the 76th minute.

However, with six minutes remaining, Liridon Krasniqi popped up with the winning goal to hand Kedah their third victory in a row.

Finally, Milan Purovic netted a 92nd-minute penalty to help Kuantan beat bottom side SPA FC 1-0 at the Darulmakmur Stadium, while PKNS FC and DRB-Hicom played out a 0-0 draw at the MBPJ Stadium.

Friday’s Malaysia Premier League Results

PKNS FC 0-0 DRB-Hicom

Kuala Lumpur 1-1 Johor Darul Ta’zim II

Sabah 1-0 Penang

T-Team 2-0 UiTM FC

Kedah 2-1 NS Matrix

Kuantan 1-0 SPA FC

Gary, Nazmi lead the way in OKS’ preliminary SEA Games squad

Malaysia’s preparations for the upcoming 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games has taken another big step after coach Ong Kim Swee revealed his 30-man preliminary squad.

Leading the way are Selangor playmaker Nazmi Faiz, who was only 17 when he was part of the side that won the gold medal at the Under-23 tournament in 2011, and Johor Darul Ta’zim’s combative midfielder Gary Robbat,  who represented the senior team in the last two editions of the AFF Suzuki Cup but is yet to make his SEA Games bow, having missed out through injury two years ago.

Apart from Nazmi, Ong has included three others that were also present when they finished first in Indonesia four years ago, namely forward Syahrul Azwari and defenders Amer Saidin and Fandi Othman.

Seven players in the 30-man roster also have SEA Games experience from 2013, including left-back Nazirul Naim, who had a brief spell at Japanese outfit FC Ryukyu, and Sabah forward Rozaimi Abdul Rahman.

Ong confirmed to Football SEA that it was almost certain the 20 players that will make the final cut would come from this 30-man squad, and stressed it was important for them to be in excellent condition and injury-free by the time the SEA Games comes around at the start of June.

Apart from the usual suspects like Nazmi, Gary and Rozaimi, others who could make an impact for the Malaysians include Kedah winger Farhan Roslan, who narrowly missed out on a place in the senior team at last year’s Suzuki Cup, and 18-year-old starlet Ariff Farhan, who is currently plying his trade in the S.League with Harimau Muda.

There was also a place in the provisional roster for new Pahang signing Matthew Davies, an Australian-born full-back who qualifies for Malaysian citizenship through his mother, who hails from Sabah.

Nonetheless, Ong did stress he would be treated the same as every other player and would have to prove his worth in order to earn his spot in the final 20-man list.

Malaysia’s 30-man provisional squad for 2015 SEA Games

Goalkeepers: Farhan Abu Bakar (Harimau Muda), Syazwan Yusoff (Kelantan), Firdaus Muhamad (Kedah)

Defenders: Che Rashid Che Halim (Johor Darul Ta’zim II), Fandi Othman, Amer Saidin (both Johor Darul Ta’zim), Arif Fadzilah Abu Bakar (T-Team), Syazwan Tajuddin (Kedah), Nazirul Naim, Wan Ahmad Amirzafran (both Harimau Muda), Matthew Davies (Pahang)

Midfielders: Gary Robbat (Johor Darul Ta’zim), Akram Mahinan (Johor Darul Ta’zim II), Nurridzuan Abu Hassan (Perak), Nor Azam Azih, D. Saarvindran (both Pahang), Ariff Farhan, Syahrul Azwari, Adam Nor Azlin, Amirul Hisyam (all Harimau Muda), Nazmi Faiz, Saiful Ridzuwan Selamat (both Selangor), Ferris Danial (FELDA United), Farhan Roslan (Kedah)

Forwards: Faizat Ghazli, S. Kumaahran (both Harimau Muda), Syafiq Ahmad (Kedah), Rozaimi Abdul Rahman (Sabah), Arip Amiruddin (PKNS FC)

Kedah notch second straight win after seeing off JDT II

Kedah moved up to fourth place in the Malaysia Premier League on Sunday evening after recording a 2-1 win over Johor Darul Ta’zim II at the Darul Aman Stadium.

The hosts got off to a perfect start after five minutes when their opponents’ failure to clear their lines from a set-piece allowed Chidi Edeh to pounce on a loose ball inside the area, where he proceeded to fire a half-volley past Anis Faron.

However, JDT II looked to have done enough to earn a share of the spoils when they equalised in the 87th minute; Leandro Velazquez notching his fifth goal of the campaign to level the scores.

But with a minute remaining, Edeh turned provider when he laid on an assist as Kedah starlet Farhan Roslan to net the winner, after the 18-year-old had been brought on as a second-half substitute.

The result was enough to take Helang Merah three spots up to fourth on the table, while JDT II now find themselves in seventh and are four points away from the summit.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s other game in the Premier League between NS Matrix and Penang was postponed after heavy rain led to unplayable conditions and caused the match to be called off.

Johor Darul Ta’zim II: Anis Faron, Che Rashid Che Halim, Baihakki Khaizan, Izuan Jarudin, Fazly Mazlan (Syafuan Riduwan 57’), Akram Mahinan, Faizol Hussain (Shafiq Shaharudin 58’), Zaquan Adha (Ramzi Haziq 72’), Leandro Velazquez, Nicolas Delmonte, Shahril Ishak.

Kedah: Abdul Hadi Hamid, P. Rajesh (Rizal Ghazali 80’), Khairul Helmi Johari, Bang Seung-hwan, Sabre Mat Abu, Syazwan Tajuddin, Liridon Krasniqi, Sandro, Baddrol Bakhtiar, Syazwan Zainon (Farhan Roslan 70’), Chidi Edeh (Raphi Azizan 90’).

T-Team claim fourth straight win; Sabah denied by PKNS

T-Team tentatively moved to the top of the Malaysia Premier League on Friday after beating DRB-Hicom 2-1 to notch a fourth successive win.

Farhod Tadjiyev opened the scoring at the Proton City Stadium when he netted in the 41st minute, before the Uzbek doubled their advantage in the 70th minute.

DRB-Hicom did manage to pull one back in injury-time when Aris Zaidi struck but it proved to be too little too late, as the Titans managed to hold out for the win.

The result was enough to send T-Team to the top of the table, although Penang could reclaim the lead on Sunday if they avoid defeat against NS Matrix.

Meanwhile, Sabah were unable to get back to winning ways as they were held to a 1-1 draw by PKNS FC at the Likas Stadium.

Eamon Zayed had fired the hosts in front after 16 minutes when he latched onto El Hadji Diouf’s lovely through-ball and found the back of the net.

But with 13 minutes remaining, Farderin Kadir equalised for PKNS to earn the visitors a share of the spoils.

Over at the UiTM Stadium, UiTM FC continued their good run of form as they made it three wins in a row after beating Kuantan 3-2.

After Abdi Kassim Sadallah had broken the deadlock in the 16th minute, Dao Bakary struck five minutes before the break to put the hosts firmly in control of proceedings.

Kuantan were then dealt a huge blow when goalkeeper E. Judtanna was sent off in the 70th minute and UiTM capitalised on their numerical advantage two minutes later; Bakary notching his second goal of the evening to make it 3-0.

Nonetheless, the visitors showed tremendous spirit to fight back with Milan Purovic pulling one back in the 86th minute and Fabrice Noel further reducing the deficit two minutes later, although they were just unable to find the equaliser.

Finally, Kuala Lumpur picked up only their second win of the campaign after defeating bottom side SPA FC 1-0; Kalle Sone proving to be the match-winner after netting in the 70th minute.

Friday’s Malaysia Premier League Results

DRB-Hicom 1-2 T-Team

UiTM FC 3-2 Kuantan

Kuala Lumpur 1-0 SPA FC

Sabah 1-1 PKNS FC