2017 Malaysian Super League

Safiq Rahim hat trick as JDT win 7-0 vs. Melaka United in MSL

Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) racked up the biggest win in the Malaysia Super League (MSL) this season when they annihilated Melaka United 7-0, inspired by a Safiq Rahim hat trick at Larkin Stadium on Sunday night.

The Southern Tigers' thumping win takes them to third in the league with a game in hand, ending their run of consecutive defeats in Cup competitions.

JDT lost 3-2 to Pahang in the first leg quarterfinals of the FA Cup on April 1 before going down 3-2 to Global FC in the AFC Cup four days later.

There was also good news for Zainal Abidin Hassan's Penang. They recorded their first league victory of the season, with a 1-0 success away to Felda United at Tun Abdul Razak Stadium.

S. Kumaahran's 79th minute winner gives the Panthers a glimmer of hope as they begin a new lease of life under the former Selangor boss in the wake of the Ashley Westwood's disastrous three months in charge.

But the true goal fest was in Johor, and it began as early as the seventh minute through Argentine striker Gabriel Guerra.

Safiq added a second 10 minutes later before the JDT captain laid on an assist for Amirulhadi Zainal to put the game to bed with a third.

But Safiq was just getting warmed up. His through ball after 33 minutes found Gonzalo Cabrera who finished home to make it 4-0.

Any hopes of Melaka exercising damage control after the break evaporated just a minute into the second half as Azamuddin Akil joined the party with a fifth.

Safiq would be rewarded for his sterling performance with JDT's sixth goal in the 58th minute, before capping a man-of-the-match performance by converting a penalty two minutes from time to take home the match ball.

The set-piece specialist, who is also expected to return to national team after a brief Malaysia retirement, has now scored four league goals in 2017 to match his tally from last season.

JDT will overtake co-leaders Pahang and Kedah if they win away to Kelantan on Wednesday.