AN acrobatic goal by S. Chanturu paved the way for Kelantan to record a 3-0 win over Singapore's LionsXII at the Sultan Mohamed IV Stadium in Kota Baru yesterday and move the defending champions to within two points of the beaten Super League leaders.
Kelantan ate into LionsXII's artificial lead, built on the back of playing three games more, when Chanturu broke the deadlock with a brilliant bicycle kick in the 73rd minute after Norshahrul Idlan Talaha floated the ball to the winger from the by-line.
Norfarhan Muhammad doubled the lead four minutes later after exchanging passes with skipper Badhri Radzi, whose slid rule pass split the LionsXII defence and allowed Norfarhan to burst through and lift the ball over goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Jumaat.
Substitute Rizal Fahmi Rosid sealed LionsXII's second consecutive away defeat when he blasted the ball from outside the box in the 85th minute when Chanturu rolled the ball into the defender's path after the Singaporeans failed to clear a corner.
Kelantan could have taken an early lead when they were awarded a penalty in the fourth minute after Norfarhan was tripped by Isa Halim in the box but Norshahrul's tame spot was easily saved by Hyrulnizam.
Kelantan goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat pulled off a double save in the ninth minute after a LionsXII free-kick caused chaos in the box before blocking Shahril Ishak's overhead kick in the 28th minute when the ball rebounded into play after Hariss Harun's header rocked the cross bar.
Terengganu's decision to "rest" coach Mat Zan Mat Aris failed to pay off as the deposed FA Cup semi-finalist needed a Joseph Kalang Tie goal one minute from the end to rescue a 2-2 draw with Perak in Kuala Terengganu.
Joseph gave Terengganu a dream start with a first-minute strike before Perak grabbed a 2-1 lead through Rafiuddin Rodin in the 40th minute and Cameroonian Albert Bodjong's first goal in the 65th minute.
Rozaimi Abdul Rahman solitary strike was enough for Sabah to edge Felda United 1-0 at the Likas Stadium while there were goals galore in the Premier League.
Armed Forces, Pahang and Sime Darby maintained the status quo at the top of the standings with just two points separating the teams after notching wins over the bottom three sides.
Marlon Alex James hit a hat-trick to take his tally in the league to 14 goals while Hairuddin Omar netted twice in Forces' 7-1 win over Johor Baru City Council in Petaling Jaya to stay ahead of Pahang on goal difference.
Pahang needed Brazilian Maycon Carvalho Inez's debut goal in the 77th minute to clinch a 3-2 win over Young Tigers B in Temerloh while Liberian Patrick Wleh returned from suspension to score twice in FA Cup finalist Sime Darby's 5-1 thumping of Perlis in Selayang.