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FOOTBALL: Dominant Kelantan retain title

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KELANTAN clinched their second successive Super League titles in style after thrashing Perak 6-0 at Sultan Mohamad (IV) Stadium in Kota Baru yesterday.

A hatrick from Indra Putra Mahayuddin and a goal each from Mohamad Ghaddar, Badri Radzi and Nurul Azwan Roya were enough for the defending champions to top the league again, regardless of the outcome in their two remaining matches.

Kelantan were on an attacking mode from first whistle, eager to please the capacity crowd at the stadium, and they could have found an opening goal in the fifth minute if Nurul was a little more accurate with his shot.

The floodgate was opened for the homeside in the 16th minute when Indra who was at the end of Norfarhan Mohamad's pass, managed to steer his shot past goalkeeper Nasri Nordin and into the back of the net.

Two minutes later, Indra turned provider for Ghaddar and the Lebanese striker made no mistake from close range.

Ghaddar had an opportunity to score again four minutes later if not for his awkward positioning to receive the pass from Norfarhan but captain Badri was nearby to complete the task and gave Kelantan a three goals cushion.

In the 29th minute, Badri provided an assist by crossing the ball at just the right height for Indra to head in Kelantan's fourth and his second goal on the night.

Indra was again involved in the 38th minute, this time by providing a cross in the path of Nurul and the attacking midfielder made it count from close range.

If that was not bad enough for Perak, they were down to ten men just before the break when captain Shahrul Nizam Mustaffa was shown a straight red card for what looked like a slap on Ghaddar's face.

It was more of the same after the break and Indra only needed to wait two minutes to make his move and danced his way past three defenders in the penalty box before completing his hat-trick.

The defeat in Kota Baru allowed Selangor who comfortably beat Kuala Lumpur 4-0, to take over Perak's position in third place behind Lions XII.

Perak now have to look over their shoulders for Terengganu who are now a single point behind them after the East Coast team won 3-1 agains Sabah.

Terengganu found an early goal in the fourth minute at Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu through Joseph Kallang Tie but three minutes later, Rozaimi Abd Rahman levelled the score for the homeside.

But the visitors were ahead again when Ashaari Shamsuddin scored just before the break before an own goal from Sabah 10 minutes from time, gave Terengganu a 3-1 win to keep their two-match winning streak going.

In Kuala Terengganu, T-Team prevented a slide down the league table after coming back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Johore FC.

Former T-Team player Haris Safwan Kamal came back to terrorise the homeside when scored in the 31st minute but Fazli Shaari managed to restore order in the 56th minute.

Felda United FC also eased their relegation fear with a 1-0 victory over Selangor PKNS in Petaling Jaya while Kedah are still pegged to the bottom three after losing 2-0 to Negri Sembilan.

Kelantan players celebrate Indra Putra Mahyuddin’s goal in their Super League match against Perak at the Sultan Mohamed IV Stadium yesterday. Pic by Fathil Asri


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