KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah ended a seven-year wait to get back to Super League action when they edged UiTM FC 2-1 at the UiTM Stadium, Shah Alam tonight to be the champions of the 2019 Premier League.
With the win, The Rhinos collected 40 points after 19 matches while nearest rivals Johor Darul Ta’zim II (JDT II) were seven points adrift. The top two teams gain promotion to the Super League.
The last time they played in the Super League was in 2012 where they ended up in 13th place and were relegated to the Premier League.
In tonight’s action. UiTM FC went ahead when Zarko Korac found the mark in the 30th minute but Sabah rose up and scored two goals, the first via a penalty in the 57th minute which Rodoljub Paunovic converted while Aguinaldo Mendes Veiga’s 66th minute goal clinched them the title.
JDT II on the other hand went down 1-3 to Negeri Sembilan at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium, Paroi, which ended their hopes of chasing Sabah for the title.
Negeri Sembilan’s goals were netted by Jose Almir Barros Neto (11th) , Matheus Fernandes Vila Real ( 62nd) and Igor Carneiro Luiz (86th) while JDT II’s consolation goal was contributed by Md Rozaimi Abd Rahman through a penalty in the 28th minute.
In the meantime, UKM FC regained the opportunity to get out of the relegation zone after a 6-2 demolition of Selangor United at the Selayang Municipal Council Stadium. Iranian import striker Milad Zeneyedpour scored a hat-trick for UKM FC with his goals coming in the 30th, 36th minute and 75th minutes while their other goals were supplied by Syed Sobri Syed Mohd (45th) and Matthew Roskam’s (53rd, 90th).
The home side’s goals were contributed by Hwang Sin-young in the 59th minute and Nurshamil Abdul Ghani in the 66th minute.
In the Super League, Pahang edged PKNS FC 3-2 in a dramatic match at Stadium Darul Makmur, Kuantan.
Their 10th victory from 19 matches saw The Elephants maintain second spot with 36 points.
Their goals were scored by Mark Herald Goulon in the 30th minute, Muslim Ahmad (42nd ) and captain, Matthew Davies (89th) while the visitors’ goals were netted by Kpah Sherman in the 60th minute and Gabriel Guerra in the 65th minute.
Melaka jumped two rungs to third place in the league after winning narrowly 2-1 over lowly team, PKNP FC at the Hang Jebat Stadium, Melaka.
The visitors, however, were ahead first through a goal from Giancarlo Rodrigues in the 13th minute before the Hang Tuah squad rose up to find two goals through Davy Angan in the 42nd minute and Patrick Reichelt in the 59th minute.
Terengganu FC (TFC), on their part, failed to make use of home advantage after playing to a 2-2 draw with Kedah at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.
The two goals of the Turtles were scored by Sanjar Shaakhmedov in the 32nd minute and team captain, Kipre Tchetche in the 90th minute, while the two Kedah goals were scored by Muhammad Shakir Hamzah as early as the third minute of the match and team captain, Baddrol Bakhtiar in the 45th minute.
Earlier, Kedah defender, Azmeer Yusof was shown the red card by the referee, Wan Mohamad Tarmizi Wan Ibrahim in the 68th minute after collecting his second yellow card.