MSL: JDT shocked by newly promoted PDRM, Perak win again
Defending champions Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) will look to quickly rebound after their surprising, first Malaysia Super League (MSL) defeat of the 2015 campaign when they visit Mehmet Durakovic's Selangor next weekend.
Newly promoted PDRM FA defeated Bojan Hodak's men 1-0 on Saturday night at the Shah Alam Stadium after the champions had beaten 2014 Malaysia Cup champions Pahang 2-0 in the 2015 MSL season opener at the Larkin Stadium on Jan. 31. It also doubled up as the Malaysia Charity Shield game.
PDRM's Gambian midfielder Mohamadou Sumareh scored the winner in the 77th minute when his shot deflected off the post to nestle in the far corner giving the 2014 Malaysia Premier League champions their first points of 2015. Azman Adnan's team had crashed to a 5-3 defeat against the rampaging 2013 champions LionsXII in their opener on Feb. 7 with Mali born striker Dramane Traore sparing their blushes with a late hat-trick after trailing 5-0.
JDT -- who had come off a resounding 3-0 mid-week AFC Champions League qualifier away defeat to Thai Premier League side Bangkok Glass FC -- looked exhausted and PDRM's physical approach ensured their star midfielders were quiet. The champions were poor in attack as well. Their Argentinian forwards Luciano Figueroa and Jorge Diaz hardly threatened the PDRM goal.
In Saturday's other surprising result, Perak consigned big-spending Armed Forces FA (ATM) to their second successive home defeat of the season with a 2-0 win at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi. Captain and midfielder Mohd Nasir Basharuddin edged Dato M. Karathu's side ahead in the 24th minute. Lebanese defender Hassan Daher put the game beyond the reach of the Armymen by doubling the advantage in the 56th.
Perak, who defeated Sime Darby FC 2-0 in their opening home game on Feb. 7, moved to the top of the table with their second straight win. Should Sunday's postponed game between Kelantan and LionsXII end in three points for either team, the winners will join Perak at the top of the table. Kelantan defeated ATM 2-0 in their season opener on Feb. 7.
Mehmet Durakovic's Selangor and 2014 double cup winners Pahang claimed their first point of the 2015 league campaign when they battled to a 1-1 draw at Darul Makmur Stadium. Pahang's Argentine striker Matias Conti put the home team ahead in the 60th minute before Selangor's Indonesia international winger Andik Vermansyah scored the equaliser five minutes later.
Pahang were reduced to 10 men late in the game when midfielder Hafiz Kamal was sent off in the 90th minute after receiving a second yellow card.
Selangor had lost their season opener 2-0 on Feb. 7 in an emotion-charged away trip to Terengganu who had their new signing Brazilian striker Paulo Rangel making his debut against his former side.
At the Selayang Stadium, 2014 Malaysia Premier League runners up Felda United defeated Sime Darby FC 3-0 taking the visitors to second place in the standings. Ahmad Syamim, Ndumba Makeche and Mohd Shukor Adan scored for the Fighters in the fourth, sixth and 77th minutes.
In Saturday's other game, Sarawak claimed their first win of the season by beating Terengganu 3-1 at the State Stadium in Sarawak. Irish striker Billy Mehmet and midfielder Ashri Chuchu gave the home team an early 2-0 lead but Rangel tapped in his first goal for his new club in the 14th minute. Captain and midfielder Joseph Kalang Tie scored the third for Robert Albert's team five minutes before half-time to give them three points.