By FOX Sports staff
In a keenly-contested clash between two of the Malaysia Super League's strongest sides, the only goal of the game came in the 39th minute when Madhu Mohana was left unmarked at the far post and headed home a corner from Shahfiq Ghani.
The result allowed the LIONSXII to exact some measure of revenge on the Armed Forces, who booted them out of the competition last season at the semi-final stage, although there is still plenty to play for in next Friday's second leg at the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang Stadium.
Over at the Larkin Stadium, defending champions Kelantan face a tough task if they are to successfully retain the title after being handed a 4-2 defeat by Darul Takzim.
Jasazrin Jamaluddin got the hosts off to a dream start when he scored with a stunning 30-yard freekick after just four minutes, before Norshahrul Idlan Talaha came back to haunt his former side by making it 2-0 in the 21st minute; pouncing on a rebound and skipping past Azizi Matt Rose before firing home.
Kelantan did manage to pull one back two minutes later when Indra Putra Mahayuddin's left-footed effort took a wicked deflection off Aidil Zafuan and ended in the back of the net, and Harimau Selatan then wasted a good chance to reclaim their two-goal advantage in the 34th minute when Safee Sali had his penalty saved by Khairul Fahmi Che Mat.
But six minutes before the break, they did make it 3-1 when Safiq Rahim latched onto a neat pass by Norshahrul and drilled his shot into the bottom corner, only for the Red Warriors to hit back again in the 49th minute when Obinna Nwaneri scored with a powerful header from 12 yards out.
Nonetheless, Darul Takzim secured the win nine minutes from time when Argentine striker Leonel Nunez lined up a freekick on the edge of the box and proceeded to send a curling effort into the top corner.
In Saturday's encounter, Sime Darby and Sarawak played out a 0-0 draw at the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang Stadium.
Saturday's Malaysia Cup Quarter-final 1st Leg Results
LIONSXII 1-0 ATM
Darul Takzim 4-2 Kelantan
Sime Darby 0-0 Sarawak
Image courtesy of FAS