Top three entertaining matches in 2018 MSL

Nicolas Anil

The 2018 Malaysia Super League (MSL) had served up some highly entertaining matches with a glut of goals and incidents to boot with.

In line with FOX Sports Malaysia’s review of the just concluded season, we take a look at three of the most engaging matches that kept fans on the edge of their seats.

Perak FA vs Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) (1-2)

The Southern Tigers headed into this match needing only a win to confirm a fifth consecutive league title. There was no better place to do it than at the home of their closest league rivals Perak, who occupied second spot. Backed by a decent home support, the Bos Gaurus took the game to the visitors, and could have gone ahead a few times if not for the brilliance of Farizal Marlias in the JDT goal. But after incessant pressure, Farizal finally wilted when Perak’s promising midfielder Nor Hakim Hassan smashed a near post shot past him. There was 18-minutes left on the clock for JDT to turn this game around. Cue, a Raul Longhi masterstroke substitution. The head coach introduced Safawi Rasid and immediately the game changed in JDT’s favour. Just three minutes after conceding, JDT were level when Hariss Harun headed home Safawi’s free-kick. The young forward completed the comeback six minutes from time to ensure JDT clinched another title on a memorable note.

Perak FA vs PKNP FC (4-3)

Billed the battle of the ‘siblings’, Perak were expected to have little problems against their sister club who were made up of young local players. Playing on a water-logged pitch due to torrential rain in Ipoh that Saturday, Perak took an early lead through Nor Hakim Hassan. But it wasn’t long before PKNP drew level through Clovis Anzite. Both sides went at each other in the second half, but PKNP struck twice in the space of eight minutes for a 3-1 advantage. Perak only had just over 20 minutes to conjure a result to climb to second spot. Nasir Basharuddin stated the comeback to make it 3-2, before Wander Luiz leveled the scores after constant waves of Perak pressure. There was almost eight minutes of injury time awarded, and the drama heightened when Perak were awarded a penalty in the 95th minute. Gilmar Jose buried the spot-kick to complete the turnaround and take his side to second.

Kuala Lumpur FA vs Melaka United FA (3-4)

Both teams were battling to survive the drop when this encounter took place on June 5, so there was plenty at stake at Cheras Stadium. Kuala Lumpur have boasted a decent home form in the league, but they were dismantled by a new look Melaka in the first half to go down 3-0. Yahor Zubovich, and new signings Syahrul Azwari and Ifedayo Olusegun struck in 34-minutes for the comfortable lead. It seemed Melaka were home and dry with that lead. But the home side are made of stern stuff, having already produced several big comebacks before this. They did it again, leveling the scores to 3-3 through Paulo Josue and a Guilherme de Paula brace. But this was the match where Olusegun announced his arrival to Melaka, as he stole in front of his marker to stab home the winner. Melaka were overjoyed, Kuala Lumpur were crushed.

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