Safuwan Baharudin braced for MSL dog fight after PDRM lose to Kelantan

Singapore's Safuwan Baharudin must brace himself for his first relegation battle after his PDRM FA side were let fighting for their Malaysia Super League (MSL) status, following a 2-1 home loss to Kelantan on Friday night.

Safuwan will have to help PDRM fight the drop only three years after winning the MSL title with LionsXII in 2013.

They are in precarious eighth position on 21 points, two above the danger zone, having played one match more than their rivals. The final game of the season is away to Sarawak on Oct. 22.

At the Hang Jebat Stadium, the Cops were undone through strikes from Indra Putra Mahayuddin and Blazhe Ilijoski. Less than a week earlier, they had dumped out the Red Warriors in the Malaysia Cup quarterfinals on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate result.

Veteran Indra had given Kelantan a 30th minute lead before Fakrul Aiman Sidid levelled 10 minutes later for his third consecutive goal.

But Macedonian hit man Ilijoski had other ideas, and sealed the game through his 78th minute winner. The goal was Ilijoski's 12th of the season, and his sixth scored in the second half of MSL games.

So Safuwan, who scored the away goal in the 2-1 Malaysia Cup first-leg win against Kelantan on Aug. 28, must now turn his league attentions to the final league game of the season in Kuching next month, in addition to the upcoming Malaysia Cup semifinal against Kedah.

PDRM could slip to 11th spot before the end of the weekend should Terengganu beat Kedah at home on Saturday. Penang and Sarawak could also move above them if they win their respective away games against Pahang and Felda United.

In the Premier League, PKNS FC defeated already champions Melaka United 3-1 at Shah Alam Stadium to all but seal their return to the MSL. The priceless win sees PKNS FC hold a three-point lead over Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) II, going into the final game of the season on Oct. 21.

JDT II were held to a 1-1 draw against Kuala Lumpur at Pasir Gudang Stadium after taking the lead through Irfan Fazail's first minute strike. Jonathan Cantillana then scored just before the break as the teams shared the spoils.

Other results saw Negeri Sembilan and DRB Hicom play out a 1-1 draw, Perlis thrash UiTM 5-2, while Kuantan FA edged Sabah 3-2. ATM FA, meanwhile, climbed out of the drop zone with a 3-1 triumph over Sime Darby, who now occupy bottom spot.