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 By Nicolas Anil

JDT clinch Malaysia Super League crown despite loss to Selangor

Jason Dasey talks to Malaysia U22 coach Ong Kim Swee about the host nation's ambitions at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.

Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) confirmed a fourth consecutive Malaysia Super League (MSL) title, despite a 2-1 defeat away to Selangor on Saturday evening after closest rivals Kedah also lost to Pahang.

Kedah couldn't afford to slip on the road in Kuantan, but fell 2-1 to third-placed Pahang, to confirm JDT's title. With three games remaining, the Southern Tigers have an unassailable lead of 11 points.

Even so, Selangor were deserving of their victory against the 2015 AFC Cup champions, earned through goals from ex-JDT favourite Amri Yahyah and Indonesian winger Andik Vermansyah.

Backed by a raucious away crowd who outnumbered the home fans at Selayang Stadium, the Southern Tigers kept Selangor pinned in their own half in the opening exchanges.

Their early dominance almost paid off in the eighth minute. Aidil Zafuan came within centimetres of putting them ahead through a glancing header.

Selangor were more than happy to defend in numbers, and hit the league leaders on the break.

That strategy was working, with JDT twice undone in quick succession, despite not conceding.

Amri was first to waste a good chance from a half volley inside the penalty box midway through the first half.

The veteran then laid on a glorious pass for Francis Forkey Doe four minutes later. But the Liberian disappointed with a tame effort, having only Izham Tarmizi to beat.

JDT seemed to believe that the only way to penetrate their visitors was to have a go from far, and when they did a first goal followed.

It came through Natxo Insa, who unleashed an unstoppable 25-metre drive that headed into the top corner, despite Norazlan Razali's despairing dive.

Early in the second half, Amri came close with a shot just inside the box that forced Izham into action, as the Red Giants searched for the equaliser.

It arrived on the hour mark through Amri, who struck from a similar acute angle past Izham into the bottom corner. It was his third goal against his former club this season.

Selangor were fired up to repeat their victory over JDT in the Malaysia Cup last month, gaining more in confidence as they pressed for a second goal.

It arrived in the 78th minute through substitute Andik Vermansyah, who didn't break stride as he unleashed a stiff grounder past an out-of-position Izham.

Although JDT failed to produce an equaliser, it didn't matter at the final whistle as news broke out of Kedah's defeat -- so the title celebrations could begin.

Elsewhere, the relegation woes of Kelantan worsened after they could only draw 1-1 at home to Felda United.

Zainal Abidin Hassan's Penang, meanwhile, lost 2-0 at Sarawak and look like being consigned to life in the second-tier.

Selangor: Norazlan Razali (GK), A. Namathevan, K. Kannan, Saiful Ridzuwan Selamat (Andik Vermansyah 74'), Adam Nor Azlan, Francis Forkey Doe, Razman Roslan (C), Ugo Ukah, Syahmi Safari, S.Veenod, Amri Yahyah

Johor Darul Ta'zim: Izham Tarmizi (GK), Aidil Zafuan (Nazmi Faiz 83'), Safiq Rahim (C), Gabriel Guerra, Gonzalo Cabrera, S. Kunanlan, Fazly Mazlan, Mohammed Ghaddar (Ahmad Hazwan Bakri 70'), Fadhli Shas, Natxo Insa, Afiq Fazail (Junior Eldstal 54')

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.

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