HAT-TRICK HERO: Perak hitman stuns Darul Takzim
BRAZILIAN striker Paolo Rangel bagged a hat-trick as Perak embarrassed big-spending Darul Takzim 3-0 in Lumut to allow LionsXII extend their lead in the Super League to three points after holding Selangor 0-0 in Shah Alam yesterday.
Champions Kelantan won in the league again after two straight defeats when they beat Kuala Terengganu T-Team 3-1 in Kota Baru but remain a lowly ninth, 11 points behind LionsXII.
Rangel took his tally to four goals in three games since replacing Karim Rouani when he clipped a header in the 13th minute, squeezed the ball past goalkeeper Zulfadhli Mohamed in the 66th and blasted into the top corner two minutes from time as Perak bid farewell to Lumut before returning to the Perak Stadium in Ipoh.
Selangor failed to regain third spot despite striker Francis Doe returning from injury as the Liberian squandered a great opportunity to win the match late on when he was denied brilllianty by LionsXII goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud.
Izwan also denied Doe's sweetly struck half-volley in the sixth minute while Amri Yahyah was denied a penalty when his goal-bound header hit Safuwan Baharudin's hand on 74 minutes though the LionsXII defender knew little about it.
Hariss Harun had the Singapore side's best chance in the first half but saw his drive tipped over by Norazlan Razali.
In Kota Baru, T-Team had the brighter start when Ahmad Syamim Yahya hit the bar in the ninth minute but conceded a penalty when Hassan Basri Ridzuan brought down Indra Putra Mahayuddin in the penalty box.
Dickson Nwakaeme coolly dinked the ball over Iqbal Suhaimi for his first Super League goal in the 32nd minute before the Nigerian's half-time replacement Norfarhan Muhammad headed in Badhri Radzi's cross on the hour for 2-0.
Damir Ibric reduced the deficit for T-Team with an 82nd-minute penalty before Indra, whose bicycle-kick struck the post earlier, made it 3-1 in added-time.