Southeast Asia Malaysia

All Square in the Pahang Derby

FELDA United and Pahang FA played out a 2-2 draw at the Tun Abdul Razak Stadium in Jengka on Sunday night’s Liga Super Malaysia action. The Matchweek 8 encounter saw FELDA recover from a goal down to lead their guests 2-1, only for former Persela Lamongan and Persija Jakarta striker Ivan Carlos to force a draw with a 78th minute penalty.

Pahang made the 1 hour and 26 minute trip up from Kuantan to Jengka to take on FELDA in the latest edition of the Pahang Derby, with the Tok Gajah, well embedded in the Liga Super’s mid-table, determined to improve their position in the standings. FELDA also had the same intention in mind – having failed to win a game since the league’s restart, Nidzam Jamil’s men are looking for all three points to stave off the threats of relegation.

Dollah Salleh’s men took the attacking initiative since kick-off, repeatedly creating a number of chances that threatened FELDA’s goalkeeper Zarif Irfan. Azam Azih fired off a cannonball from some distance that rattled the advertising boards around Zarif in the 6th minute, before Faisal Halim’s 9th minute shot struck the FELDA goalpost. Pahang eventually took the lead in the 14th minute, after defender Muslim Ahmad outmuscled his markers and fired off a low driving shot that went beyond the reaches of Zarif.

FELDA’s Serbian defender Nikola Raspopovic scored his team’s equalizer in the 38th minute, after Frederic Bulot’s corner was poorly cleared by Pahang goalkeeper Helmi Eliza, allowing Nikola to stab home the rebound. The Fighters then took the lead in the stroke of half-time, after Pahang’s Azam was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the FELDA penalty box. Akhmar Haiqal, in his second start for FELDA, confidently slotted home the resulting penalty, effectively sealing the lead for his team going into half-time.

Unfortunately for Nidzam’s young brigade, they were unable to defend their lead in the second half and in the 78th minute, it was FELDA’s turn to concede a penalty after Faiz Mazlan had made contact with Carlos’ shot with his hand. Liga 1 Indonesia alumni Carlos made no mistake from the spot and the Brazilian coolly equalizes for Pahang. No further goals were scored after that and FELDA’s night was made even more miserable by the expulsion of Jasazrin Jamaluddin in the 81st minute, after the midfielder had received his second yellow card of the game following a foul on Azam. The match ended 2-2, prolonging FELDA’s search for their first win after the Liga Super restart.

Elsewhere, at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Krubong, hosts Melaka United were forced to share the spoils with Petaling Jaya City after an injury time equalizer from PJ City’s M. Kogileswaran Raj ensured a 1-1 draw between the two teams. Last but not least, last-placed PDRM FA were pushed closer to the brink of relegation after succumbing to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Perak FA at the KLFA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

The KLFA Stadium will witness another Liga Super match on Monday, as Kedah FA take on Sabah FA in the final match of Matchweek 8. The city of Alor Setar in the state of Kedah have been effectively sealed off by the Malaysian authorities following the increase of COVID-19 cases there, which forces Kedah to hold their home game against Sabah in Kuala Lumpur.