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2017 Malaysian Super League

Penang move closer to MSL relegation after losing to Felda

Felda United heaped more misery on Penang's flailing Malaysia Super League (MSL) season after Norshahrul Idlan Talaha struck an 89th-minute winner to give the Fighters a 2-1 triumph at a rain-soaked Batu Kawan Stadium on Sunday night.

Argentine striker Lucas Cano opened Felda's account in the 17th minute, but they were pegged back through Nigel Dabingyaba's fourth goal of the season eight minutes after the restart.

With kick off delayed for almost an hour due to torrential rain, the game begged for a dramatic ending. Up popped Norshahrul with a rare winner to give Felda their third victory of the season.

For Penang, the drop now looks ominous. The Panthers are firmly rooted in bottom place after only one league win in 2017 -- coming against Felda earlier in the season -- to leave them five points from safety.

The arrival on former Selangor coach Zainal Abidin Hassan has also failed to significantly lift the beleaguered state league side, who had been left in a perilous state when Englishman Ashley Westwood departed in March.

Zainal can still spark a turnaround if he brings in the right reinforcements when the second transfer window opens later this month.

Only Dabingyaba has been showing signs of promise among the three imports purchased by Penang this year. Australian midfielder Diogo Ferreira has not featured recently after some sub-par performances, while Hong Kong defender Andy Russell has also been plagued with injuries and poor form.

Brazilian defender Reinaldo Lobo had been retained since last season.

The next three matches will be an indication if Penang can pull off the great escape for the second consecutive season.

They will face a red-hot Mohammad Ghaddar led Kelantan away on May 24 before starting the second half of the campaign at Johor Darul Ta'zim on July 1.

If they can avoid defeat in those two matches, Zainal's charges could be fired up for victory against PKNS FC at home on July 11.

Penang miraculously survived the drop last year after they beat Sarawak on the final day of the season.

Felda United: Farizal Harun (GK), Mootaz Bellah, Lucas Cano , Zah Rahan Krangar, Shukor Adan (C), Stuart Wark, Wan Amirul Afiq, Gaston Cellerino, Hadin Azman, Alif Yusof, Wan Zack Haikal

Penang: Syed Adney (GK), G. Mahathevan, Yong Kuong Yong, Zulkhairi Zulkeply, Rafiuddin Rodin (C), Azrul Ahmad, Faiz Subri, S. Kumaahran, Syameer Kutty Abba, Faizal Ghazali, Nigel Dabingyba