JOHOR BARU: Two-time Malaysian Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) edged 10-man Felda United 2-1 in a cagey match.
But their hopes of heading the 12-team league were dented when Selangor, who defeated Sarawak 4-2, pipped them on goal difference.
The Fighters brought their physical game to the Southern Tigers’ den which saw their defender Adib Aizudin Abdul Latif given the marching orders.
In last season’s Malaysia Cup quarter-finals, Felda United were the first team to beat JDT at Larkin Stadium and knocked them out of the tournament.
History seemed to be repeating itself when the visitors took the lead in the 13th minute. An unmarked Lutfullah Turaev headed the ball past JDT goalkeeper Farizal Marlias.
Former JDT player Muhd Hadin Azman almost doubled the score in the 37th minute when he was through on goal only to shoot straight at Farizal.
The miss proved costly as JDT drew level five minutes after the break through Argentine Jorge Pereyra Diaz. He made his way into the Felda penalty box and released a low shot that beat Mohd Farizal Harun.
The match turned when Felda’s Adib saw red for a stamp on S. Kunalan in the 61st minute.
The hosts took advantage of the extra man when midfielder S. Chanturu sealed the match in the 83rd minute following a pass by Diaz.
At the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar, Syafiq Ahmad scored a late winner in Kedah’s come-from-behind 2-1 win over Kelantan.
Indra Putra Mahayuddin had opened the scoring at the half-hour mark before Brazilian Carlos Kahe equalised for Kedah in the 69th minute.
In George Town, Penang settled for a 1-1 draw with Perak at the City Stadium.
Nigerian striker Osas Saha put the Islanders ahead in the 23rd minute, only for Shahrul Saad to equalise for the visitors at the stroke of half-time. It was Perak’s first goal in four matches.
At the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan, Terengganu beat bottom-side Pahang 2-1 thanks to a brace from rookie striker Amirul Syahmi Asha’ri.
The 21-year-old Amirul opened accounts in the 15th minute and doubled his tally 10 minutes later. Salomon Raj reduced the deficit for the hosts in the 51st minute.