PETALING JAYA: Advantage Johor Darul Ta’zim.
Felda United coach Irfan Bakti wished for a clean sheet. But what he got was a 1-1 draw with Super League champions JDT in their Malaysia Cup quarter-final, first-leg match at the Selayang Stadium on Tuesday.
Brazilian striker Thiago Fernandes gave the hosts the lead in the eighth minute and Irfan nearly got his wish.
But three minutes into injury time, midfielder Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal scored the crucial away goal for JDT.
Felda got off to a perfect start when the lanky Fernandes latched on to winger Christie Jayaseelan’s cross to score his fifth goal in the Malaysia Cup competition.
The Fighters looked dominant in the early stages, with midfielders Zah Rahan Krangar, Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Ahmad Syamim Yahya and Christie working their socks off to keep JDT’s attacks at bay.
Fernandes could have doubled Felda’s lead in the 17th minute, but his shot was parried away by JDT goalkeeper Farizal Marlias.
The JDT strike pair of Mohd Safee Sali and Argentine Luciano Figueroa struggled to breach the Felda backline, which was well marshalled by Serbian Bojan Miladinovic and veteran skipper Mohd Shukor Adan.
JDT looked livelier after the break with centreback Mohd Aidil Zaquan Abdul Razak hitting the back of the net in the 57th minute. But it was correctly ruled out for offside.
The tide turned JDT’s way with the introduction of Amirulhadi in the 70th minute for the ineffective Safee, and it was the sub who ended up as the hero for the Southern Tigers. He collected Amri’s cross and rifled a shot inside the box deep into injury time for the crucial away goal.
At the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar, Kedah were left to rue their luck after being held to a 1-1 draw by PKNS.
Mohd Syazwan Zainon had given Kedah a 75th-minute lead, but East Timor striker Pedro Oliveira scored the equaliser for PKNS in the 86th minute.