Giants continued to fall as the underdogs reigned.
Matchday four is a critical point of the Malaysia Cup group stage as we begin to glean an idea of who is looking a good bet for progression to the knockout phase.
Surprisingly the usual suspects are all struggling to live up to their star billing with winless Selangor in danger of an embarrassing early elimination, while Johor Darul Takzim, Kelantan and Lions XII are well below expectations.
Once again the underdogs have proved their strength and remained in contention for the latter stages, confounding the pre-tournament predictions and bring a breath of fresh air to a potentially sterile tournament.
ATM produced a stunning performance to hammer Johor FA 4-1 in Selangor to remain Group A leaders.
Bruno Martelotto bagged a brace, including the opener four minutes before half time. Marlon doubled the Gladiators’ advantage in the 76th minute but Rasyid Aya halved the deficit just 60 seconds later. Christie Jayaseelan restored the two-goal cushion eight minutes from time before Martelotto popped up to score the fourth in the 92nd minute.
Table: ATM lead Group A on goal differance ahead of Sime Darby, with both teams picking up seven points from four matches. Johor aren’t out of the running for the knockout phase but must win their next match to stay in contention. Victory for rock bottom Selangor is essential if they’re to remain in the tournament.
Felda United finally picked up their first win of the competition against PKNS FC at the Shah Alam Stadium.
Nsumbu Mazowa proved to be the match winner with the only goal of the game four minutes before the break, as the Settlers clung on in the second half to register a priceless victory, while PKNS missed a golden opportunity to maintain their 100% record and put themselves in the frame for the quarter-finals.
Table: Despite putting three points on the board for the first time it wasn’t enough to lift Felda away from the foot of Group B, but it does give them hope of advancing to the knockout stage. JDT remain third and locked on six points along with T-Team, with both now just three points behind PKNS after they slipped up.
Khairul Ramadhan’s injury time winner scored Terengganu their first three points of the tournament against Pahang FA.
The Turtles had failed to register a victory in their first three matches but finally found the winning formula at the fourth attempt, albeit they left it extremely late after Azamuddin Akil threatened to steal a point for Pahang after he cancelled out Effa Owona’s opener just after the hour.
With time running out Ramadhan stepped up to send the send the Terengganu fans into a frenzy with the decisive goal four minutes into added on time.
Table: Negeri Sembilan seized top spot in Group C with an impressive away win over Kelantan, who remain third behind Pahang although they’re both locked on five points and a plus one goal difference. Terengganu remain bottom but results were in their favour and now they’re just a point shy of second.
Sarawak are currently the team to beat in Group D after moving to the top following a 4-0 demolition of Kedah at the Sarawak Stadium.
Incredibly the match remained goalless for 55 minutes until Zamri Morshidi broke the deadlock and opened the floodgates. Muamer Salibašić, Bobby Gonzales and Mazwandi Zekeria all got their name on the scoresheet in a ruthless display of dominance, as the visitors were sent packing with their tails between their legs.
Table: Sarawak’s heavy victory moves places them first on goal difference, ahead of Perak, while Lions XII and Kedah are close behind.