PETALING JAYA: Defending champions Negri Sembilan and Johor FC have joined Selangor as quarter-final qualifiers of the Malaysia Cup competition.
Selangor made the grade last Sunday while Negri and Johor FC won their penultimate group matches last night to check in.
Negri had a scare before they advanced from Group A with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over 10-man KL Plus at the MBPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya.
Mohd Badrul Hisani Abdul Rahman put the Highwaymen in front in the 36th minute before the Deer bounced back with goals by seasoned campaigner Mohd Shukor Adan in the 66th minute and Shafik Abdul Rahman in the 73rd minute.
KL Plus had started out well but their hopes faded away after Azi Shahril Azmi was sacked in the 51st minute.
Negri top the standings on 11 points with one match to play against PKNS FC in Paroi on Saturday.
In the other Group A match, Kelantan made amends after two dismal outings at home when they thrashed PKNS 4-0 at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Baru. The scorers were Mohd Farisham Ismail (28th), Akmal Rizal Rakhli (56th), Mohd Badri Radzi (78th) and skipper Indra Putra Mahayudin (86th, penalty).
The Red Warriors need at least a draw against KL Plus on Saturday to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Johor FC are through from Group C following a 2-1 win over Armed Forces at the JCorp Stadium in Pasir Gudang. Their goals came from Riduwan Ma’on (25th) and Mohd Izuan Jaruddin (67th) while V. Saravanan (72nd) reduced the deficit for the soldiers.
In Ipoh, Perak kept their quarter-final hopes alive with a 1-0 win over Kedah.
It is a three-horse race in Group B with Pahang (9), Sabah (8) and Terengganu (7) fighting for the top two slots.
Terengganu kept up a great comeback to qualify when they defeated Sabah 3-0 in Kuala Terengganu while Pahang scored a narrow 1-0 win over Kuala Lumpur at the KL Football Stadium in Cheras.
In Group D, Perlis are back in serious contention to join Selangor as the qualifiers. The Northern Lions defeated T-Team 4-1 at the Stadium Utama in Kangar to move up to second spot in the standings on nine points – three ahead of the club side.
Selangor picked up their fifth straight win, beating Premier League champions Felda United 4-1 at the Shah Alam Stadium. Selangor wrap up their fixtures against Perlis in Kangar on Saturday.