| Fadhil Yunus |
MS ABDB took a giant step towards retaining their title after a 2-1 victory over fierce rivals Indera SC at the Berakas Sports Complex last night which helped establish a 10-point lead at the top of the DST Super League.
Indera SC needed a victory to boost their own title hopes after the Kasuka setback last week but their second successive loss may have reduced a four-horse race into two.
Title contender Kasuka have the chance to cut the gap to seven with a win over MS PDB tonight and anything but will spell further good news for the army personnel.
The army personnel were without the influential Muhammad Razimie bin Ramlli and the suspended Baharin bin Hamidon, who netted the winner in last week’s win over Setia Perdana.
Indera captain Hazwan bin Hamzah was a notable absentee but they were still a force with the attacking flair of Mohamed Aminuddin Zakwan bin Mohamed Tahir, Mohammad Asri bin Haji Aspar and Hamizan Aziz bin Sulaiman on tow.
Indera simply needed to go for it in this make-or-break clash and they were off to a good start when Naziruddin bin Haji Ismail grabbed the opener in the 20th minute.
However, the league leaders pulled level on the half-an-hour mark through Khairuddin bin Mohd Azahari.
Indera controlled possession for most of the second half but could not find a way to trouble MS ABDB’s first-choice goalkeeper Mohammad Tarmizi bin Haji Mat Johari, who returned in goal after missing the win against Setia Perdana.
MS ABDB’s Muhammad Hariz Danial bin Haji Khallidden could not detect a teammate nearby so he made an ambitious attempt which safely landed at the arms of Indera SC goalkeeper Mohammad Ahsanuddin bin Haji Mohd Dani.
As Indera could not make their possession count, their eternal foes were very dangerous on the break initiated by the tricky Muhammad Saiful Ammar bin Haji Adis.
The MS ABDB winger darted into the box before setting up Mohamad Saufi bin Salleh whose shot was well saved by Mohammad Ahsanuddin.
The game could have stopped not once but twice for a free-kick and the referee rightly pointed for one after an Indera SC player appeared to be too strong on Mohamad Saufi.
MS ABDB experienced defender Haji Mohammad Yusof bin Haji Matyassin’s ensuing free-kick crashed against the crossbar before Muhammad Hariz Danial powered home a header which could be a title-defining moment.