2017 Malaysian Super League

Kedah and Pahang now joint leaders in MSL with JDT looming

Kedah allowed Pahang to overtake them at the top of the Malaysia Super League (MSL) table on goal difference after they were held to a 1-1 draw by PKNS FC and the Elephants won 2-1 at Kelantan on Saturday night.

Both teams are on 19 points after nine matches, but champions Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) can overtake both of them if they win their two games in hand, starting with Sunday's home match against Melaka United.

Kedah were dealing with off-field issues over the past week with their coach Tan Cheng Hoe tendering his resignation to join the Football Association of Malaysia as assistant national coach.

But with his future yet to be ironed out, Tan took charge of this home game.

Encouraged by his presence, the Canaries started well and Sandro saw a long range effort sail past the post in the first minute.

The Brazilian midfielder had another attempt from outside the penalty box comfortably gathered by PKNS goalkeeper Nor Haziq midway through the first half as the home side tried to take an early advantage.

But Kedah were stung in the 28th minute as PKNS took the lead through Argentine midfielder Lucas Espindola, who capitalised on good work by Safee Sali.

Sandro saw another attempt saved in the 34th minute, before Kedah were rewarded for their persistence two minutes later.

The equaliser came from Australian defender Zachary Anderson, who was quickest to react when Liridon Krasniqi's free kick was saved by Nor Haziq.

Syafiq Ahmad came close for Kedah on the hour mark, before Sandro missed another chance as Tan's men stepped up a gear in search of a goal.

But PKNS hung on to claim a big away point and put the brakes on their opponents' march at the top.

Pahang capitalised on Kedah's slip with a 2-1 victory at Kelantan. Wan Zaharulnizam and Matheus Alves struck in the space of two minutes against The Red Warriors, who had taken an early lead through Muhammad Ghaddar's 10th league goal.

Selangor stayed within sight of the duo in third with a 2-1 victory over Sarawak at Selayang Stadium.

Victor Astafei and Francis Forkey Doe came through with the first-half goals to confirm the points.

Saturday's other game saw Perak and T-Team draw 2-2 in Ipoh.

On Sunday, Zainal Abidin Hassan will begin his rescue act to lift Penang off bottom spot with a first league win against Felda United at Tun Abdul Razak Stadium.

JDT will move to third, with a game in hand, if they can beat Melaka United in the evening's other game.