KUALA LUMPUR: Club sides Selangor PKNS FC and Sime Darby FC were the shining stars when the prestigious Malaysia Cup football competition got underway tonight.
Selangor PKNS FC outclassed Johor Darul Takzim (Johor DT) in Group B, defeating the star-studded side 2-0 at the Shah Alam Stadium with their import striker Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh emerging the hero with goals in the 16th and 56 minutes respectively.
Sime Darby FC, the Premier League runners-up, outgunned Armed Forces (ATM) 4-3 at the Selayang Stadium in Group A action .
The Klang Valley club side's goals were netted by Togaba Komlan Kontiwa (3rd and 22nd minutes), Hadzirun Che Hamid (31st ) and Fazrul Hazli Mohd Kadri (46th).
As for 'The Gladiators', their goals came from Mohd Fazrul Hazli Mohd Kadri (own goal) in 14th minute, Irwan Fadzly Idrus (57th) and Venice Elphi a/k Danny Kaya (75th).
In Group C, unfancied Negeri Sembilan pulled off an upset when they defeated Terengganu 2-0 at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah, Kuala Terengganu with their import player Fabio Leandro Barbosa finding the net in the 38th minute while S. Sivanesan's 53rd minute goal sealed their victory.
Also picking up three points were Perak who edged Premier League champions Sarawak 2-1 at the Perak Stadium, Ipoh in Group D.
Both the goals of the Seladang side coached by Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah were netted by their Brazilian import Paulo Rangel (60th, 80th) while Joseph Kalang Tie found the net for Sarawak in the 35th minute.
Terengganu club side T-Team also picked up three points after edging Felda United FC 1-0 in the other Group B match held at the Temerloh Mini-Stadium.
Selangor, 32 times Malaysia Cup champions, however, were held to a goalless draw by Johor FA in Group A at the Pasir Gudang Stadium.
Meanwhile, Kelantan and Lions XII of Singapore, the favourites to make the final, had to settle for draws in their groups, C and D respectively.
The neighbours across the Causeway drew 2-2 with Kedah at their home turf, the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
Team captain Shahril Ishak put the hosts ahead in the 11th minute while Shahfiq Ghani scored their second in the 65th minute whereas Kedah's Croatian import Alen Guc replied with a brace, in the 22nd and 90th minute (penalty).
Defending champions Kelantan were tied 1-1 against Pahang at the Darul Makmur Stadium, Kuantan.
Kelantan captain Mohd Badhri Mohd Radzi had put the visitors ahead in the 9th minute only to see it neutralised by Damion Stewart in the 85th minute.
Before Stewart scored, both teams were down to 10 men after the referee sent one from each side packing for rough play.