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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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)

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

Persib stay top in AFC Cup; Global claim first-ever triumph

Persib Bandung remain top of Group H in the AFC Cup despite playing out a 0-0 draw with Lao Toyota at the New Laos National Stadium on Wednesday.

Despite entering the clash as favourites to claim the win, the Indonesian Super League giants were unable to find a way past their stubborn opponents, who showed great resilience throughout the 90 minutes.

Nonetheless, the result keeps Persib unbeaten in the campaign with a two-point lead at the top, and they remain on course for a place in the Round of 16.

Meanwhile, Ayeyawady United were unable to fully capitalise on Persib’s slip-up as they were also held to a 0-0 draw by New Radiant at the Thuwunna Stadium to remain in second place.

Over in Group G, it was a monumental day for Philippine outfit Global as they beat nine-man Yadanarbon 4-1 to claim their maiden win in the tournament, in what was also the first match to be played at the new Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue.

Mark Hartmann got them on their way with a 16th-minute penalty after Renato Gonzalez’s freekick had been handled inside the box, although Yan Paing equalised for the visitors four minutes later.

However, the hosts reclaimed the lead through another Hartmann strike six minutes before halftime, before Misagh Bahadoran made it 3-1 in the 58th minute with a fine individual effort.

Things then got from bad to worse for the Myanmar National League outfit when Zaw Linn Tun was shown a straight red in the 70th minute, although Hartmann spurned an excellent chance to complete his hat-trick shortly after when his penalty was saved by Thiha Sithu.

But any hopes the visitors had of a comeback were ended in the 76th minute when they also had Tin Win Aung sent off for a second bookable offence, and Global went on to complete the rout six minutes from time when Gonzalez added a fourth from a freekick.

The result also means Global are back in the hunt for a place in the knockout round, after second-placed Pahang were beaten 3-1 by table-topping South China at the Mong Kok Stadium.

After Philip Chan had fired the hosts ahead in the 11th minute, Lo Kong Wai found the back of the net seven minutes into the second half to put them firmly in control of proceedings.

Jack Sealy then struck four minutes later to effectively put the result beyond doubt, although the Malaysian visitors did grab a consolation in the 62nd minute through a Dickson Nwakaeme strike.

Wednesday’s AFC Cup Results

Group G

South China 3-1 Pahang

Global 4-1 Yadanarbon

Group H

Ayeyawady United 0-0 New Radiant

Lao Toyota 0-0 Persib Bandung

JDT exact revenge on Kitchee; Persipura held in AFC Cup

Malaysia Super League giants Johor Darul Ta’zim moved top of Group F in the AFC Cup on Tuesday after recording a 2-0 win over Hong Kong’s Kitchee at the Larkin Stadium.

Luciano Figueroa got Harimau Selatan on their way when he opened the scoring in the 18th minute, before Safiq Rahim made sure of the result when he converted from the penalty spot a minute before halftime, after S. Chanturu had been brought down inside the area.

The result ensured JDT exacted revenge on their opponents after being beaten by the same scoreline in their previous encounter in Hong Kong last month, and was enough to hand them a two-point lead at the top of the table.

In Group F’s other game, Indian outfit East Bengal claimed their first win of the campaign after cruising to a 3-0 triumph over Balestier Khalsa of Singapore at the Salt Lake Stadium.

Baldeep Singh broke the deadlock for the hosts when he headed home a corner in the 22nd minute, before they doubled their advantage in the 71st minute through a Nurullah Hussein own-goal.

And four minutes later, the contest was effectively ended when Ranti Martins kept his cool to score with a close-range finish for East Bengal’s third goal of the evening.

Over in Group E, Indonesia Super League giants Persipura Jayapura’s perfect record of three straight wins came to an end as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Maldives’ Maziya at the Mandala Stadium.

Bengaluru took a step close to qualification as they moved five points clear in second place in the group with a 1-0 win over S.League champions Warriors FC, which was also enough to end their opponents’ hopes of advancing to the knockout round.

Following a goalless first half at the Jalan Besar Stadium, the winner arrived in the 76th minute when Robin Singh did well to twist his way free on the edge of the box before finding the bottom corner with a perfectly-placed left-footed shot.

Tuesday’s AFC Cup Results

Group E

Persipura Jayapura 0-0 Maziya

Warriors FC 0-1 Bengaluru

Group F

East Bengal 3-0 Balestier Khalsa

Johor Darul Ta’zim 2-0 Kitchee

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)