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<b>Negri</b>, <b>Perak</b> eye third spot

Posted: 14 May 2012 09:11 PM PDT

Negri vs PerakTwo teams in red-hot form clash in Paroi today when Negri Sembilan host Perak with third place in the Super League all to play for.

With leaders LionsXII and defending champions Kelantan having broken away from the pack, Perak, Terengganu, Negri, Kuala Terengganu T-Team and Selangor are involved in a tight race for the last place on the podium.

Singapore's LionsXII, who have 40 points from 20 games, are favoured to extend their three-point lead over Kelantan when they travel to Malacca to face winless Kuala Lumpur at the Hang Jebat Stadium.

Kelantan are on 37 points after 16 games and have the night off as their trip to Johor FC has been postponed to May 26 with the FA Cup final against Sime Darby looming on Saturday.

Only three points separate Perak (27) in third and seventh-placed Selangor and a win over Negri today will go a long way towards securing third spot for Norizan Bakar's team.

Perak are fresh from a 2-0 win over Selangor in Ipoh on Friday when new signing Cameroonian Albert Bodjongo scored in his second successive game.

But Norizan, while pleased with his side's display, preached caution as they attempt to extend their four-match unbeaten run.

"There are many more games to go in the season. We cannot afford to be complacent and must continue to work on our weaknesses," he said after the win over Selangor.

Bodjongo has made an immediate impact for Perak while his compatriot Jean-Emmanuel Effa Owona has been equally prolific, with 12 goals in all competitions for Negri.

Owona returned from suspension to fire Negri to a 2-1 win over Johor FC at Paroi, having missed his team's 3-1 success against Selangor a week earlier.

Centre-back Marian Farbak returns to shore up a Negri defence which survived a few nervy moments on Tuesday before Ahmad Shakir Ali came off the bench to score the winner with his ninth league goal.

"We have another game in three days and I am just relieved we did not pick up any injuries," said Negri coach Azraai Khor Abdullah after the Johor FC game.

"We will have Farbak back and I hope we can get something out of the game (against Perak)."

Original article at New Straits Times.
Photo by Syed Hishamudin (

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