Malaysian football produced a sensational spectacle as Felda United emerged victorious from a seven-goal thriller against Johor DT at the Selayang Stadium.
Bad weather threatened to ruin the game at the beginning, but Felda were the quickest to adapt to the wet pitch, as Edward Wilson gave them the lead on the 7th minute mark.
Johor DT continued to push on the offensive, with Nazrin Nawi perhaps being their most dangerous outlet on the flanks. But the home side were relatively solid in defence as well, not giving Norshahrul and Jorge Diaz much space on the ball.
Amri Yahya had a free kick attempt that was deflected away by the Felda defence, before Nazrin’s attempt was parried away by Felda’s custodian. Edward Wilson then had a golden opportunity through a counter attack, but his finish was one that would have made Johnny Wilkinson proud.
Just as Bojan’s men were looking to head into the break to regroup and reassess their strategy, Felda pounced again. This time around, Syamim Yahya fired home to double Felda’s lead on the 43rd minute.
After the break, Johor looked far more resilient in their movement and tempo. That eventually paid dividends as Jorge Diaz produced a predatory finish to reduce the deficit for the Southern Tigers.
Moments later, Felda faced another set-back as Nasriq Baharom was sent off for a second bookable offence, leaving them one-man down with over 30 minutes to go in the game.
As predicted, Johor started pumping forward in numbers, but with pacy attackers in the form of Edward Wilson and Makache, that decision was always going to be a risky one. True enough, Makache blasted one into the back of the net to increase Felda’ goal tally.
Bojan then decided to introduce Figueroa and Mahali Jasuli, which made an instant impact with the Argentinean forward pulling one back for JohorDT on the 79th minute.
The last 10 minutes was frantic. But when Jorge Diaz equalized on the 89th minute, it sent the away fans into rapture mode; though little did they know of what was about to hit them.
Precisely on the 92nd mark, Makacha chipped over Al Hafiz with plenty of class and finesse, to give Felda the coveted victory and advantage, going into the second leg. But the tie in Larkin should not be underestimated. Irfan certainly won’t be doing so. Not when Johor DT secured three away goals tonight.