By K. RAJAN
PETALING JAYA: It was goals galore at the Larkin Stadium but moneybags Johor Darul Takzim could only hold newly promoted Armed Forces to a 2-2 draw in a Super League match last night.
The star studded cast failed to make a strong impression in front of their home fans.
The soldiers got down to serious business from the word go through Amiridzwan Taj Tajuddin in the seventh minute before former Spain international Daniel Guiza equalised for Johor DT in the 17th minute.
Irwan Fadli Idrus restored the lead for Armed Forces in the 38th minute but former Kelantan hotshot Norshahrul Idlan Talaha made it 2-2 in the 40th minute.
All the action was in the first-half and the only notable happening after the break was the sending off of Forces’ defender Mohd Fitri Omar in the 84th minute.
In another match, treble winners Kelantan failed to sparkle against Felda United as they played out a goalless draw at the MBPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya.
The Red Warriors’ best chance came through Izuan Solahhuddin but his header was palmed away by Felda goalkeeper Mohd Helmi Eliza Elias in the 72nd minute.
Kelantan coach Bojan Hodak conceded that the team’s performance was below par.
“We played five matches in 14 days. Obviously, the strain has taken a toll on the players and the quality of our game suffered,” said the Croatian.
Kelantan paid a heavy price for their draw last night as striker Mohd Norfarhan Muhammad limped off injured in the 44th minute. The east coast had started the match without injured striker Keita Mandjou from Guinea. The lack of firepower upfront was sorely felt with Indra Putra Mahayuddin and untested striker Harris Safwan Kamal unable to find the net.
Felda United coach K. Devan was disappointed that his team failed to show urgency in the game.
“I guess the afternoon kick-off time affected both teams badly,” said Devan.
He also pointed out that Lebanese striker Mohd Ghaddar Mahmoud did not have much support upfront.
“Our plan was to stop Kelantan’s engine room from functioning and I think my players did a good job,” said Devan.
Meanwhile, T-Team slumped to their third league defeat after going down to PKNS FC 3-0 at the Sultan Ismail Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.
PKNS got their goals through Zamri Morshidi (13th),
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