PETALING JAYA, Oct 29 – Striker Darren Lok is coming on strong after a long lay off from injury and is knocking on the doors for a recall to Tan Cheng Hoe’s national squad with doubles strike for his club Petaling Jaya City FC in their 3-1 win over Kelantan FC in a Malaysia Cup Group D match on Friday.
The 30-year-old England-born Darren plundered the opening goal in the 10th minute and completed the scoring in the 81st minute to hand the all-local-side a convincing win in the oldest football competition in this region.
In between, R. Kogileswaran scored PJ City’s second goal that left coach P. Maniam all smiles as his team stayed in the hunt for a top two finish in the group for a place in the knockout stage after defending champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) snuffed out Sabah 2-0 at the Likas Stadium.
JDT, the reigning Malaysian Super League champions, are on top with nine points followed by PJ City in second spot on four points. Sabah is third on two points with Kelantan FC at the bottom with one point.
The Southern Tigers tamed Sabah with early strikes. The match was only four minutes when Hazwan Bakri capitalised on a poor back header by Sabah’s Nazirul Naim Che Hashim for JDT’s opening goal.
It was 2-0 for JDT in the 13th minute. This time Gonzalo Cabrera finished off an assist by Leandro Velazquez for the outfit to remain unbeaten after three matches with nine points.
Melaka United continued with their fine run in Group C with a 2-1 win over Kelantan United at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka for their third win in as many matches to sit on top in the group.
Haitian striker Sony Norde scored on 25 minutes to give the home team the lead. Although Kelantan United equalised through Shuhei Fukai in the 43rd minute to make it all square at halftime, Melaka United was not to be denied a win.
Brazilian Adriano Narcizo struck in the 54th minute for the winner to tighten to ensure the knockout stage in the group that has been reduced to three teams after Negri Sembilan FC pulled out from the Malaysia Cup due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Negeri Sembilan players and officials were tested positive for Covid-19 during the month-long international break for national teams for the World Cup qualifiers.
Kedah FC is second in the group with six points after being awarded a 3-0 win over Negeri Sembilan.

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