JDT and Turtles on fire, Pahang need late goal to sink minnows Harini

05 Aug 2023 12:14am
Johor Darul Ta'zim Heberty Fernandes De Andrade (centre) celebrating the third goal with teammates against Kelantan FC. - BERNAMA PIX
Johor Darul Ta'zim Heberty Fernandes De Andrade (centre) celebrating the third goal with teammates against Kelantan FC. - BERNAMA PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - Defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) showed that they are in no mood to relinquish their hold on the coveted Malaysia Cup when they trounced Kelantan FC 5-1 in the round of 16, first-leg tie at the Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium in Kota Bharu tonight.

The Southern Tigers were in their element right from the first whistle and it took them just seven minutes to open the floodgates, with prolific Brazilian hitman Bergson Da Silva cooly beating Kelantan goalkeeper Muhammad Irfan Haikal Mohd Iffendi in a one-on-one situation.

JDT’s new import striker Heberty Fernandes then notched a brace in the 15th and 24th minutes to put them 3-0 up, leaving the home team and their supporters shell-shocked.

Although the Red Warriors tried to stage a fightback, it was to no avail as JDT continued to dominate the proceedings before defender Shahrul Mohd Saad made it 4-0 in the 50th minute.

The Southern Tigers added a fifth goal in the 67th minute courtesy of a Muhammad Nazmi Faiz Manson piledriver before Kelantan managed to get a consolation goal through a long-range attempt by Mohamad Khala'If Mohd Naskam five minutes before the end.

The defeat leaves Kelantan with a mountain to climb in the return leg at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri, Johor on Aug 19.

Over at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras, Ivan Mamut bagged a hat-trick to steer Terengganu FC to a 4-0 thrashing of M3 League leaders Kuala Lumpur Rovers FC (KL Rovers).

The 26-year-old Croatian opened accounts in the 18th minute before doubling the Turtles’ lead late into injury time in the first half when he slotted home a cross from Sony Norde.

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Norde then had another assist to his name when he laid on a perfect pass for Engku Muhammad Nur Shakir Engku Yacob@Engku Azman to make it 3-0 in the 52nd minute before Mamut sealed the rout with his third goal in the 67th minute as the Turtles take home a comfortable lead for the return leg in Kuala Nerus, Terengganu on Aug 18.

Meanwhile, Super League side Sri Pahang FC can thank substitute Muhamad Baqiuddin Shamsuddin for saving them their blushes when he scored late into time added on in the second half for a 3-2 win over M3 League opponents, Harini FC, at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi, Negeri Sembilan.

The Elephants had earlier shot into a 2-0 lead through David Rowley (20th minute) and Muhammad Syazwan Andik Mohd Ishak (54th) before home team Harini FC staged a magnificent fightback to draw level with goals by Muhammad Fikri Mohamed Shah (59th) and former national striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (74th).

Sri Pahang will welcome Harini FC to the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan for the return leg clash on Aug 20. - BERNAMA

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