Vincent Bikana (right) scoring Terengganu's only goal against JDT during their Super Leaque match at Sultan Ismail stadium in Kuala Terengganu on Saturday. - ZABIDI HUSIN/ The STAR
PETALING JAYA: Terengganu surged to the top of the Super League after a narrow 1-0 win over Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) at the Sultan Ismail Stadium.
Centreback Vincent Bikana of Cameroon was the hero for the Turtles on Saturday night, scoring the solitary goal in the 16th minute. The win enabled Terengganu to collect 13 points from six matches. Terengganu are ahead of arch-rivals Kelantan on goal difference but with a game in hand.
Star-studded JDT started promisingly despite being booed and heckled by the home fans. But they could not get past the tight Terengganu defence.
Bikana also put a solid show in defence and kept JDT striker Luciano Figueroa at bay. JDT were also unlucky with the woodwork twice denying them from scoring.
Terengganu goalkeeper Sharbinee Alawee was also in his element, tipping Argentinian Figueroa’s free-kick over the crossbar.
In Kota Baru, Kelantan started the night on top of the 12-league standings. But they could only manage a point after a 2-2 draw with Pahang at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium.
Skipper Mohd Badhri Radzi gave the Red Warriors a flying start with a goal after only two minutes. He curled in a free-kick which Pahang goalkeeper Mohd Khairul Azhan fumbled and let slip from his grasp into goal.
Kelantan could have doubled the lead in the sixth minute but Liberian striker Francis Doe ballooned the ball with only Mohd Khairul to beat in the sixth minute.
Pahang, however, did not have to wait long for the equaliser. From an Azidan Saruddin cross, Saiful Nizam caught the Kelantan defence and goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat by surprise in the 13th minute.
The two teams had chances to go in front before the break but Kelantan midfielder Mohd Shawky (42nd) and Pahang’s Fauzi Roslan (44th) fumbled in front of goal.
In the 70th minute, the Elephants punished the ball-watching Kelantan defence to grab the lead through a close-range effort by Faisal Hussin.
But spurred on by their vociferous fans, Kelantan grabbed a point through substitute Khairul Izwan seven minutes from time.
In Kuching, Sarawak strolled to a 3-1 win over defending champions Lions XII at the State Stadium.
The Crocs scored through former international S. Chanturu (14th and 41st minutes) and Mohd Rasyid Aya (76th) while the visitors replied through Nazrul Nazari (36th).
In another match, Armed Forces and Selangor had to share the spoils after their match ended in a 1-1 draw at the Selayang Stadium.
Selangor’s Paulo Rangel scored his seventh league goal in the third minute but Forces replied through Argentinian Juan Arostegui in the 45th.