JDT team members celebrate after beating Sarawak 1-0 to win the Super League. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / THE STAR
PETALING JAYA: The battle for the Super League crown ended in dramatic fashion with Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) finally emerging champions for the first time.
For the whole of Wednesday night, JDT were on the back foot with Selangor holding the advantage against bottom side PKNS FC at the Shah Alam Stadium.
Twice, the Red Giants were in front but PKNS fought back for a 2-2 draw.
At the State Stadium in Kuching, JDT tried everything except scoring against Sarawak. But they finally broke the deadlock in the 66th minute, thanks to hotshot Jorge Diaz.
The Argentinian burst past two defenders into the box and slotted the ball past Sarawak goalkeeper Sani Anuar Kamsani for his eighth goal of the season.
With the win, JDT finished top of the 12-team league with 44 points, three ahead of Selangor.
Brazilian Paulo Rangel gave Selangor, looking for their first silverware in three years, a flying start by scoring in the 22nd minute.
But PKNS fought back to equalise through Patrick Wleh in the 66th minute. A minute later, Selangor went in front again with Rangel on target.
However, PKNS, already relegated to the Premier League before the match, equalised through South Korean Kim Dong-chan in the 82nd minute.
The only consolation for Selangor is that Rangel will pick up the Golden Boot for being the top scorer with 16 goals.
Terengganu club side T-Team will join PKNS in the Premier League next season.
T-Team failed to capitalise on their home advantage, losing 1-0 to Lions XII at the Sultan Ismail Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.
Armed Forces beat the drop by drawing 1-1 with Sime Darby FC at the Selayang Stadium.
Forces ended in 10th spot with the same number of 24 points as T-Team but with a better goal difference.