PENANG: League leaders Kedah showed no signs of a hangover from their two-week break after producing an efficient performance to down basement side Penang 4-1 at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Star last night.
Strikes from Badrol Bakhtiar, Marlon James, Ahmad Fauzi Shaari and an own goal from Penangs Chun Keng Hong ensured the treble champions kept their noses ahead in the standings at the start of their second round campaign.
Penang paraded an import player for the first time this season when Alex Cabrera received the FA of Malaysias clearance to be in the starting 11.
But the Uruguayan midfielder hardly had time to soak in the atmosphere when Kedah shot ahead straight from the kick-off.
The match was only 58 seconds old when an unmarked Badrol stole in at the far post to tuck in James cut-back from the right.
The National Under-23 player also played a key role in his teams 37th minute second goal. His dangerous shot across the goalmouth was turned into his own net by Penang centreback Keng Hong.
James scored Kedahs third and his 12th goal of the season came in injury time in the first-half when he side-footed a pass from Chilean midfielder Nelson Martin.
The Panthers had to wait 49 minutes before testing Kedah custodian Mohd Helmi Eliza, and surprisingly, it turned out to be a debut goal for Cabrera.
But the Canaries still had the last say with Ahmad Fauzis deflected 30m strike restoring the home sides three-goal advantage.
At the Shah Alam Stadium, national striker Mohd Safee Sali scored a late winner to give Selangor a hard-fought 2-1 win over UPB-MyTeam.
Former international Kaironissam Sahabuddin had put the visitors in front in the 12th minute but Liberian striker Frank Seator equalised for the Red Giants in the 36th minute.
In Kangar, Perlis continued their revival under new coach Irfan Bakti when they thrashed Sarawak 4-1 at the Utama Stadium.
Mohd Ridzuan Osman got the Northern Lions off to a perfect start with a goal in the first minute. Phillimon Chepita (20th), Azi Shahril (26th) and Kabwe Kamuzati (39th) chipped in with the other goals.
Mohd Safre Amit scored a consolation goal for the Crocs in the 64th minute.
At the Selayang Municipal Council Stadium, Kenyan striker Hillary Echesa saved Police the blushes in their 1-1 draw with Negri Sembilan.
Echesa, who is making his return from a month-long injury lay-off, scored in the 79th minute to cancel out S. Kunalans goal for Negri in the 25th minute.
Keita Boubacar (12th minute) and Azizul Kamaluddin (30th) scored a goal each in Pahangs 2-1 win over Johor FC at the Darulmakmur Stadium in Kuantan.
Johor replied through Mohd Syaiful Sabtu (72nd).