DARREN LOCKS DOWN TERENGGANU WITH A HATTRICK

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PETALING JAYA, Apr 7 – The night belonged to England-born Malaysian Darren Lok as he plundered a hattrick to power all-local side Petaling Jaya FC to an impressive 3-0 win over highly touted Terengganu FC in a Super League match played at the Petaling Jaya Stadium on Wednesday.

It was a nightmare for the Turtles who played with their foreigners and were skippered by the very experienced hitman Kipre Tchetche from Ivory Coast. It was a nightmare return for Tchetche in Terengganu after turning out for Kedah last season.

It was also a nightmare for Liberian Kpah Sherman who also turned out for Kedah last season, and it turned out to be a nightmare for Terengganu FC head coach Nafuzi Zain in his team’s first Super League match this season. The late start for the east coast outfit was due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The other foreigners in the Terengganu side are Manuel Ott, Petrusa Shitembi (Namibia) and Habeeb Haroun (Bahrain), Philippines international Ott turned out for Melaka United last season.

The Turtles were left picking up the crumbs at the Petaling Jaya Stadium. It was all the more painful for Nafuzi and company when Darren, opened accounts for Petaling Jaya after 13 minutes off an assist from K. Kanan.

Darren, who donned Terengganu colors in 2020, scoring a hat-trick is certainly a “big boost” for him and signs of better things to come from the 31-year-old who was forced to pull out from the national squad under new South Korean coach Kim Pan-gon because of covid.

“It is good to score all the goals for my team but it is more pleasing to help my team win the match. Everyone played a role in the win and hopefully there will be better things to come for the team,” said Darren.

In the same breath, Darren is  also keeping his fingers crossed that he will catch the eye of the national coach for a national callup.

Darren got his other two goals in the 37th minute and in the 39th minute. For Terengganu goalkeeper Suhaimi Hussin it was a nightmarish start in the Super League that he would want to forget.

At the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar, Sri Pahang, also playing their first Super League match due to Covid, fell to a 1-0 defeat to Kedah. Rodney Celvin Nkwensive got the winner in the 55th minute, slotting home the winner off a melee following a corner kick that Pahang keeper Mamadou Samassa from Mali fumbled.

It was a “poor refereeing” at the KLFA Stadium in Cheras as eight-time Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim walked away with a 3-0 win over Kuala Lumpur City FC.

The match also saw D. Kenny Palraj of KL City taking an early shower when he was red carded for his second yellow in a fracas with JDT’s Leandro Velazquez in the 57th minute.

The Southern Tigers scored a brace through Brazilian Bergson da Silva in the 82nd and 95th minutes after Argentinian Fernando Forestier opened the floodgates after 18 minutes. For the record, KL City were unbeaten at home last season.

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