Hat­tricks for Lucero, JDT

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS - BY ARVIND EZEKIEL

HAT­TRICK hero Juan Martin Lucero helped Jo­hor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) de­mol­ish T-Team on Satur­day, as they lifted their third suc­ces­sive Malaysia Su­per League (MSL) tro­phy while 2015 ti­tle ri­vals Pa­hang de­feated Pe­nang to climb out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone for the first time since July.

A price­less strike from Aus­tralian­born skip­per Matthew Davies pro­vided Pa­hang with a 1-0 vic­tory, a re­sult that saw Razip Is­mail’s charges push the is­lan­ders into the two rel­e­ga­tion spots with just one match re­main­ing.

At the top of the stand­ings, 2016 win­ners JDT trounced T-Team 5-1 be­fore the tro­phy pre­sen­ta­tion cer­e­mony at Larkin Sta­dium. Lucero was the toast of the night af­ter Amirul Hadi Zaina’s opener af­ter six min­utes.

Lucero struck twice in the first half, be­fore putting the ic­ing on the cake with an­other goal on the hour mark to com­plete his hat­trick.

An Ab­doulaye Maiga own-goal added to T-Team’s mis­ery, who could only muster a con­so­la­tion ef­fort through Pa­trick Cruz.

JDT’s lat­est ram­page also puts them within 90 min­utes of cre­at­ing his­tory as the only side to go an en­tire MSL sea­son un­beaten.

Tereng­ganu took over Pa­hang’s bot­tom place slot af­ter turn­ing in an­other dis­mal per­for­mance at home, suc­cumb­ing 3-0 to Kedah with goals com­ing from Thi­ago Au­gusto and Shane Smeltz.

The de­feat leaves them with a do-or­die rel­e­ga­tion show­down against Pe­nang on the fi­nal day of the sea­son.

The South­ern Tigers will be full of con­fi­dence go­ing into their fi­nal game against Se­lan­gor af­ter the Red Gi­ants slumped to their sev­enth de­feat of the sea­son with a 1-0 loss to Perak.

Ugo Ukah’s 48th minute own goal at Shah Alam Sta­dium also means Se­lan­gor dropped to fifth in the stand­ings, be­hind Ke­lan­tan who beat PDRM 2-1 on Fri­day.

At Tun Ab­dul Razak Sta­dium, Lut­fulla Tu­raev popped up with an in­jury-time equaliser to earn sec­ond-placed Felda United a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw against Sarawak.

Tommy Mawat, Nur Shamie Iszuan and Gil­mar gave the Crocs a 3-1 half­time lead but Zah Ra­han Kran­gar added to Gil­berto Ale­mao’s first-half ef­fort be­fore Tu­raev popped up with the last-gasp goal.

The MSL will take a month-long in­ter­na­tional break be­fore the fi­nal league fix­tures take place on Oct 21.

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