KUALA LUMPUR: Johor Darul Tazim (JDT) suffered only their second Super League defeat of the season but it didn’t matter.
They were crowned Super League champions for the fourth straight time despite losing 2-1 to Selangor at the Selayang Municipal Council Stadium last night.
This is because closest challengers Kedah also lost 2-1 to Pahang at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan.
This means JDT now have an unassailable 11-point lead over Kedah with just three matches left.
JDT have 45 points and Kedah have 34.
At Selayang, Natxo Insa put the Southern Tigers in front with a 39th-minute goal but Selangor talisman Mohd Amri Yahyah equalised 20 minutes later.
Substitute winger Andik Vermansyah was the hero for the Red Giants when he rifled in a thunderous shot from outside the box in the 77th minute for the win.
But it did nothing to dampen the mood in the JDT camp as news filtered in that Kedah had lost to the Elephants.
JDT have now won a total of seven M-League titles – four Super League, two Charity Shield and one FA Cup – since their formation in 2013. They also won the second-tier AFC Cup in 2015.
Over in Kuantan, Pahang and Kedah played out a goalless first half before three late goals lit up the match.
Yamil Romero got the ball rolling for the home side when he scored in the 64th minute.
Kedah, not willing to give up their fight for the title, hit back through Syafiq Ahmad in the 77th minute.
But their relentless pursuit of JDT came to a sad end when Matheus Alves scored the winner for Pahang in the 80th minute.
In Kuching, Sarawak beat Penang 2-0 in the fight between two relegation candidates.
The defeat leaves the Islanders rooted at the bottom with 12 points, trailing 11th-placed Sarawak by five points – with three matches to play.
The Crocs got their goals through Nur Syamie (51st) and Kamaruddin Borhan (72nd).