Pahang defeated Kelantan 1-0 at the Darul Makmur Stadium on Saturday. Matias Conti’s 64th minute strike allowed the Elephants to climb above Terengganu for third place in the Super League standings. Terengganu suffered a 4-3 loss to Johor Darul Takzim (JDT).
JDT lead the table with 38 points followed by Selangor (37), Pahang (33) and Terengganu (31).
It was a scoreless first half despite Pahang’s fairly better possesion percentage. Pahang looked more likely to open the scoring and Dickson Nwakaeme, playing against his former employers, was a constant torn to George Boateng’s charges.
Often Nwakaeme toyed with the Kelantan defence but was surrounded by a sea of white shirts to prevent him from having decent shot on goal.
The Nigerian managed to sneak a shot, through a volley on the turn, Khairul Fahmi Che Mat pushed away the bottom near post shot in the 19th minute. He also strucked the post a minute before the break while Azamuddin Akil’s rebound shot was pushed away by the Kelantan custodian.
Earlier, speedy winger R. Gopinathan did well to sprint past Nik Shahrul Azim and Brendan Gan but finished off with a shot straight into Khairul Fahmi’s grasp after nine minutes.
Pahang got off to a slow start in the second half as Kelantan hoped the seal the lead.
Boateng brought on Prince Tagoe for Tg. Hasbullah Raja Hassan just before the hour mark to make the most of their attacking moves but their gameplan were undone just five minuts later.
Nwakaeme drew three defenders to him at the edge of the box before laying a cross for Hafiz Kamal, who found R. Gopinathan and the winger set Matias Conti to fire a grounder past Khairul Fahmi in the 64th minute.
Pahang pushed for more goals but simply could not find the back of the net again.