By K. RAJAN and JOSEPH KAOS Jr
Petaling Jaya: Striker Marlon James bagged a brace to help Armed Forces complete a come-from-behind 4-2 win over Perak in a Super League match at the Lumut Stadium yesterday.
The empathic win propelled the Gladiators to the top of the standings with 18 points from 10 matches – two ahead of Johor Darul Takzim, who have a game in hand.
Perak raced ahead with goals from French striker Karim Rouani and Shahrom Kalam in the 10th and 19th minutes respectively before Forces replied through Hairuddin Omar (21st) and Christie Jayaseelan (42nd).
St Vincent and the Grenadines striker James then took over the show with goals in the 45th and 85th minutes.
He could have bagged a hat-trick if his spot kick had not hit the upright in the 76th minute.
In Kuala Terengganu, supersub Farderin Kadir came off the bench to score a goal in injury time and help Terengganu to a 1-0 win over local rivals T-Team in a Super League match at the Sultan Ismail Stadium.
The match was heading for a boring stalemate when head coach E. Elavarasan brought on Farderin in the 83rd minute to replace striker Manaf Mamat, who had earlier spurned several chances to put his team ahead.
And it proved to be a masterstroke.
The match, like all the others last night, began with a one-minute silence as a tribute to the fallen security forces in Sabah.
Elavarasan paid tribute to his players for fighting until the final whistle.
“I think both teams started off poorly in the first half … probably because of the evening heat. But we stepped it up after the break and the players fought all the way,” he said.
The Turtles began the season poorly to be placed at the bottom of the standings but they’ve improved after a three-week break in February.
“Credit to the players for working hard. We have now won three games in a row and we must continue this,” said Elavarasan, who joined Terengganu from Felda United this season.
T-Team coach Peter Butler, however, felt that Terengganu were lucky to win the tie.
“We were the better team for 90 minutes … we played quality football and I am delighted for the boys. I also thought we had two stonewall penalties which were not given,” said Butler, who coached Terengganu last season.
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