PETALING JAYA: Kelantan surged to the top of the Super League in dramatic fashion after coming from behind to beat Lions XII 2-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The Singaporeans were unbeaten at home last season, with an impressive 10 wins and a draw en route to winning the Super League title.
But on Saturday night, Liberian striker Francis Doe snatched the winner for the visitors in stoppage time.
Khairul Amri had put the home side ahead in the 26th minute before Ahmad Fakri Saarani equalised for the Red Warriors in the 50th.
Kelantan were also reduced to 10 men when striker Ahmad Shakir Ali was sent off 12 minutes from time but it could not prevent the East Coast side from collecting all three points.
The win enabled Kelantan to top the standings with 12 points from six matches – two ahead of second-placed Terengganu, who have a game in hand; and JDT who beat Sime Darby 2-0 in Selayang.
The Lions were all over their opponents in the first half, and were unlucky to take just a one-goal lead at half-time. Kelantan failed to devise a way to shackle the enterprising Khairul, who delivered the opening goal for the Super League champions in the 26th minute.
The Singaporean timed his run well to volley a Faris Ramli pass beyond the reach of Kelantan goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat for his fourth league goal of the season.
Kelantan were a transformed side in the second half and needed just five minutes to draw level.
Farisham Ismail lofted in a pass but Lions defenders Afiq Yunos and Safuwan Baharudin hesitated. Midfielder Ahmad Fakri, who scored Malaysia’s winner in the 2-1 midweek win over Yemen in the Asian Cup qualifiers, reacted fastest to reach the ball and strike it past the advancing Izwan Mahbud.
The Lions almost scored when Safuwan headed against the upright off a corner in the 89th minute but were left to rue the miss as Kelantan immediately went up the other end and found the winner, with Doe delivering a cool finish to break Singaporean hearts.