Pahang's goalscorers Matias Conti and R. Surendren (top) celebrate after scoring a goal against Sime Darby FC. Pahang won 4-1. – Bernama Photo
PETALING JAYA: Leaders Pahang showed that they are back in business after last week’s dismal showing in Singapore with a 4-1 thumping of Sime Darby FC at the Darul Makmur Stadium.
The Elephants, who went down by a similar score to Lions XII at the Jalan Besar Stadium last week, raced to a comfortable 3-0 lead at half-time on Saturday with goals from R. Surendren (18th) and a brace from Argentine Matias Conti (35th, 44th).
Nigerian striker Dickson Nwakaeme made it 4-0 in the 65th minute while Dilshod Sharofedinov grabbed a consolation goal for Sime Darby six minutes later.
Over at the Shah Alam Stadium, Australian Steve Pantelidis scored the only goal in the Red Giants’ narrow 1-0 win over defending champions Lions XII.
The defender, who was pushed to play in midfield by coach Mehmet Durakovic, headed in the winner in the 23rd minute for Selangor’s eighth win.
It was the perfect response from the Red Giants, who had crashed out of the AFC Cup competition following a 1-0 defeat to Arema on Wednesday.
Saturday night’s win also allowed the Klang Valley giants to reclaim second spot in the 12-team standings with 27 points from 13 matches – and keeping the heat on leaders Pahang who lead by a point and have played a game more.
Wingers S. Kunalan and Andik Vermansyah were a constant menace to the Lions with their speedy runs on the flanks.
However, the Red Giants struggled to impose themselves in the box and failed to capitalise on the crosses delivered by their two speed demons.
The breakthrough for Selangor came after Pantelidis rose the highest to nod in the goal after the ball was flicked on by Brazilian striker Paulo Rangel from a corner.
The Lions tried to get back into the game but were thwarted by industrious midfielders S. Veenod and Pantelidis.
In Selayang, Armed Forces ended their 10-match winless streak with a come-from-behind 4-1 win over PKNS FC.
The soldiers got their goals through Bruno Martelotto (29th), S. Thinagaran (60th), Yusaini Hafiz (77th) and Afizee Faisal (90th) while Liberian Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh (25th) replied for PKNS.
In Kuala Terengganu, the Turtles fell to their second consecutive home defeat – going down 2-0 to basement side Perak at the Sultan Ismail Stadium.