Amri Yahyah scores late winner for Selangor vs. JDT in Malaysia Cup
Amri Yahyah fired home a brace, including an added-time penalty, as Selangor held off a spirited comeback from Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) to win 3-2 in the Malaysia Cup at Selayang Stadium on Tuesday night.
The victory takes the 33-time champions above big-spending JDT at the top of Group D.
In Group C, Kelantan and Melaka United threw qualification to the last 16 wide open after they secured impressive victories.
A Margaro Gomis goal, plus an Abou Bark El-Mel brace, gave Kelantan a shock 3-1 success over defending champions Kedah in Kota Bharu, while Melaka triumphed 2-1 over second-tier UiTM FC.
At Selayang Stadium, P. Maniam restored Andik Vermansyah and Amri Yahyah to the side, while S. Veenod earned his stripes for another start after scoring against Kedah at the weekend.
JDT coach Ulisses Morais again put his faith in another all local line up, with the exception of Marcos Antonio who slotted into central defence, alongside Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak.
Having come up empty handed in both the FA Cup and AFC Cup this year, the Southern Tigers have a strong desire to experience elusive Malaysia Cup success in 2017.
Johor took control of the opening stages through S. Chanturu, who was trying to make inroads from the right wing.
The Red Giants, who can defend deep when they need to, absorbed the pressure and soon began to take control of the match.
The hosts' possession paid off in the 33rd minute when Selangor defender Fairuz Abdul Aziz headed them in front from a corner.
Two minutes later, it was former JDT winger Amri's turn to find the net.
Francis Forkey Doe teed up the veteran attacker with a nice through ball, and Amri made no mistake to bury his shot past young Haziq Nazli in the JDT goal.
That strike meant Selangor went into the break cruising at 2-0, and JDT needed a big second 45 minutes to turn things around.
Morais swiftly made changes to get his side back in the game, introducing both his Argentine attackers Gabriel Guerra and Gonzalo Cabrera for Chanturu and Safawi Rasid.
JDT immediately went on the front foot, with Guerra finding Ahmad Hazwan Bakri in a good position, but the striker failed to capitalise.
Hazwan did not have to wait long to reduce the deficit, turning home an Afiq Fazail cross to make it 2-1.
Buoyed by the goal, the visitors poured forward in numbers and were level in the 70th minute through substitute Darren Lok.
The English-born forward had only been on the pitch for five minutes, but directed a header past Khairul Azhan in a crowded penalty box to make it 2-2.
Sensing they could turn the tide around for a remarkable victory, JDT kept their pressure on the hosts and Antonio saw a header sail over the bar.
But just as the match looked to be heading for a draw, Selangor earned an injury time penalty after Doe was fouled in the box.
Amri slotted home from the spot to condemn JDT to their first loss in the competition, and take control of the group.
Other results saw T-Team hold Pahang to a 1-1 draw, while PKNP FC beat Negeri Sembilan 2-0 in Group A.
Felda United and Perak played out a 1-1 draw in Group B, while PKNS FC and Kuala Lumpur contested a goalless draw.
Selangor: Khairul Azhan Khalid (GK), A. Namathevan, Andik Vermansyah, Razman Roslan (C),S.Veenod, Francis Forkey Doe, Raimi Mohd Nor, Ugo Ukah, Fairuz Abdul Aziz, Amri Yahyah, Abdul Halim Zainal
JDT: Haziq Nazli (GK), Safawi Rasid (Gonzalo Cabrera 45'), S. Chanturu (Gabriel Guerra 45'), Nazmi Faiz (Darren Lok 65'), Azrif Nasrulhaq, Fazly Mazlan, Ahmad Hazwan Bakri, Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak, Marcos Antonio (C), Amirulhadi Zainal, Afiq Fazail
Nicolas Anil is a former Malay Mail and Goal.com Malaysia editor/writer who appears on BFM Radio as a football analyst. Twitter: @nicolas_anil.