Johor Darul Ta’zim, Kedah progress to Malaysia Cup 2019 quarter-finals

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Johor Darul Ta’zim are one of the first teams through to the knockout round of Malaysia Cup 2019 after sealing top spot in Group B with a 3-2 win over Petaling Jaya City on Friday.

Bae Beom-geun handed Petaling Jaya a shock lead in the 10th minute, but that was duly cancelled out by a Safawi Rasid strike in the 24th minute.

Man-of-the-moment Syafiq Ahmad, who netted twice in as many games for Malaysia in the recent 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers then added two goals – which sandwiched Washington Brandao’s 58th-minute equaliser – to hand JDT the three points.

With the win, Darul Ta’zim now have an unassailable four-point lead in Group B with just one match remaining.

Petaling Jaya will have to win their final game if they are to join JDT in the quarters after third-placed PKNP FC stayed in the hunt as they defeated UiTM FC 4-0, courtesy of a Giancarlo hat-trick and a long-range effort by Hafiz Ramdan.

Over in Group A, Kedah are also through to the knockout round as they beat Terengganu 3-2 in a thriller.

Kedah twice took the lead through efforts from Jonathan Bauman and Edgar Bernardt, only for Lee Tuck and Abdul Malik Ariff to equalise for the hosts.

But, just when it looked like a draw was on the cards, Terengganu failed to clear their lines from a corner and Baddrol Bakhtiar capitalised following a goal-mouth scramble to fire home the winner from close range in the 86th minute.

Kedah are guaranteed a top-two finish while second-placed Terengganu must avoid defeat in their final match.

If they do not, there is a chance they can still be caught by Negeri Sembilan, who remain three points behind following a 3-1 triumph over PKNS FC.

Photo credit: Johor Darul Ta’zim FC