SUPER LEAGUE: Selangor suffer first home defeat
KUALA LUMPUR: NEGRI Sembilan handed Selangor their first home defeat of the season with a 3-1 win in Shah Alam yesterday as Singapore's LionsXII extended their lead in the Super League standings to five points.
Firdaus Azizul's second-minute goal shocked Selangor before Ahmad Shakir Ali added two more in the 35th and 63rd minutes to end Negri's four-game winless run before Croatian Bosko Balaban pulled one back in stoppage time.
With Kelantan not in league action, LionsXII moved ahead of the pack after defeating Felda United 2-0 at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Malacca.
Shaiful Esah Naim floated in a free-kick in the 32nd minute and Shahdan Sulaiman struck in the 77th minute but the leaders have now played four games more.
Kelantan advanced to the second round of AFC Cup by finishing top of Group H after Onyekachi Nwoha scored with a deflected effort two minutes after the break in his side's 1-0 win over Myanmar's Ayeyawady United in Kota Baru.
Arthuro Bernhardt's hat-trick saw Johor FC beat PKNS 3-2 in Pasir Gudang in coach Sazali Saidon's first game in charge while Kedah were held 1-1 by T-Team in Alor Star.
Twice the Brazilian equalised for Johor FC -- through a ninth-minute penalty and a free-kick in the 61st minute -- after PKNS had scored through Norhakim Hassan (fourth) and Mickael Nicoise (76th) before firing the winner off another free-kick six minutes from full-time.
Kedah appeared to be suffering a hangover from their FA Cup semi-final exit as Fadzli Saari grabbed a 59th-minute equaliser for T-Team to cancel Verdran Gerc's opener in the 47th minute.
Negri's win came without their suspended top scorer Jean-Emmanuel Effa Owona while Selangor made just one change to the side which beat Johor FC 2-0 on April 17, Amirulhadi Zainal coming in for Fitri Shazwan Raduan.
Selangor were stunned in the second minute when a series of errors, first by Ramez Dayoub's missed clearance followed by Asraruddin Putra Omar's misdirected header, allowed Owona's stand-in Firdaus to prod the ball in.
Firdaus had to leave the pitch with an injury soon after and was replaced by Nazrin Nawi as Farizal Marlias produced two fine saves to deny Safiq Rahim, who was through on goal after a neat one-two with Balaban, who then saw the Negri goalkeeper turn his blistering free-kick round the post.
Shakir wasted a chance to add to Negri's lead in the 25th minute when he latched on to a long punt by Idris Karim but shot straight at Selangor goalkeeper G. Jeevananthan.
Shakir should have had a penalty six minutes later when his shirt was pulled by Asraruddin in the box but the Negri forward made Selangor pay in the 35th minute,
Marian Farbak headed the ball from a corner only for Jeevananthan to make a mess of the save which allowed an alert Shakir to pounce and make it 2-0 as the Selangor defenders stood watching.
Shakir grabbed his second of the night thanks to another error by the Selangor defence as his tame effort from outside the box rolled past a wrong-footed Jeevananthan in the 63rd minute.
Negri survived a scare three minutes later when Balaban's free-kick struck the bar before substitute Fitri Shazwan hit the same post on the rebound before Balaban scored a consolation goal in stoppage time.