2017 Malaysian Super League
Kedah win 5-4 on penalties
Kedah win 5-4 on penalties

Liridon Krasniqi fires Kedah to Charity Shield vs. 10-man JDT

Liridon Krasniqi fired home the winning penalty to give Kedah the 2017 Malaysian Charity Shield at the expense of holders Johor Darul Ta'zim on Friday night.

The Kosovar's spot kick provided the Canaries with a 5-4 shootout triumph after the teams were tied 1-1 at full-time at Larkin Stadium.

JDT and Kedah earned a point in this match which also doubled up as the Malaysia Super League opener. But the visitors will make the journey home with the first trophy of the season to go with their 2016 Malaysia Cup title.

Safiq Rahim put JDT ahead in the 40th minute lead through a penalty before Baddrol Bakhtiar levelled for the visitors with a sublime effort in the 63rd minute.

JDT and Kedah had faced each other four times in 2016, with the Southern Tigers winning on two occasions.

One of those victories was a thumping 5-0 success over the Canaries in the MSL last July, and the 24,157 fans gathered at Larkin were anticipating a similar scoreline.

But it was the visitors who had their first crack at goal, through a Ken Ilso free header, which the striker directed just over the bar.

JDT fashioned their first opening three minutes through Brian Ferreira, who fired just wide past Hadi Abdul Hamid's post.

Gabriel Cabrera came closer a minute later as the home side began to stamp their authority on the game.

JDT were putting together some silky short passes, and soon took the lead, albeit under dubious circumstances.

Ferreira was body checked in the penalty box by Syawal Nordin, which referee Suhaimi Mat Hassan deemed a penalty.

Kedah players protested to no avail. Up stepped Safiq Rahim to fire JDT in front in the 40th minute.

The ineffective Ahmad Hazwan Bakri was soon taken off for Jeronimo Barrales, as new coach Benjamin Mora tinkered with his side.

Just before half-time, Kedah were awarded a penalty after S. Kunanlan brought down Fakri Saarani.

The defender was initially given his marching orders for a second yellow. But Suhaimi changed his mind about the penalty after consulting with his assistant, and instead gave Kedah a free kick.

It was a strange call, heavily influenced by the video replay show on the electronic scoreboard.

Mora expectedly tightened his ship after the break by introducing Azrif Nasrulhaq for Azamuddin, as the hosts aimed to preserve their lead.

But Kedah were level just after the hour mark, thanks to a moment of brilliance from Malaysia international midfielder Baddrol Bakhtiar.

There appeared little the captain could conjure when he received Krasniqi's pass on the right wing. But without any backlift, the captain hit a swerving effort that went in off Farizal's post.

After it was 1-1 after 90 minutes, the lottery of penalties decided the first silverward of the season. All players converted their spot kicks, except new boy Ferreira.

When it came to Krasniqi's turn to win it for Kedah, he didn't disappoint.

The tall playmaker smashed home the winner, tore off his jersey to revel in a Cristiano Ronaldo-style celebration.

JDT: Farizal Marlias (GK), Azamuddin Akil (Azrif Nasrulhaq 45'), Amirulhadi Zainal, Marcos Antonio, Aidil Zafuan (Fadhli Shas 51'), Safiq Rahim (C), Brian Ferreira, Gabriel Cabrera, S. Kunanlan, Fazly Mazlan, Ahmad Hazwan Bakri (Jeronimo Barrales 42')

Kedah: Hadi Abdul Hamid (GK), Syawal Nordin (Khairul Helmi 73'), Zachary Anderson, Baddrol Bakhtiar (C), Liridon Krasniqi, Ken Ilso, Sandro, Akram Mahinan, Fakri Saarani, Rizal Ghazali, Asri Mardzuki (Fitri Omar 64')