Match Report: Johor DT 2-0 Pahang

Johor DT have been crowned the new Charity Shield winners after they secured a comfortable 2-0 win over Pahang; which effectively gets their Super League campaign off to a positive start.

With FAM allowing all foreign players to be fielded at one go this season, the Southern Tigers went gung ho by giving all their foreigners a start and it certainly paid dividends as goals from Marcos Antonio and Luciano Figueroa was enough for them to triumph.

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The start of the game was relatively balanced as both sides played with caution, but soon enough, Johor DT took control of the tempo. Junior came close on the 8th minute mark, but his header was wide off target.

Jorge Diaz then fired a shot wide off target, before he produced a moment of magic from the right edge of the box, only for his curling attempt to rattle against the bar.

Mahali Jasuli squandered a glorious chance on the 30th minute after being played through by Jorge. Instead of crossing back into the dangerous area, he opted to shoot directly, though his scuffed attempt went wide.

But on the 37th minute, Johor’s opening goal arrived. Marcos Antonio headed home from close range to send the boisterous home fans into raptures. It was Marcos’ first goal for Johor DT as well.

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Figueroa could have extended their lead just before the break, but for the second time in the game, the goalpost prevented his shot from going in.

After the break, there was a bit more initiative from Pahang, though Kunanlan’s terrific performance as a right back prevented Gopinathan from exerting his influence.

But just when Pahang were starting to test the Johor defence to a certain extent, Luciano Figueroa made it 2-0 from an excellent header. Equal credit needs to be given to Safiq for a sensational delivery as well.

As the game progressed, the tempo visibly slowed down, though Johor continued to display enthusiasm and intent to push forward. Pahang on the other hand, struggled to contain Johor’s fluidity throughout the game and their struggles extended to a point where their best players were being kept at bay.

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When the referee blew the final whistle, Johor fans erupted with joy and unsurprisingly as well. Besides claiming their first trophy of the year, the victory also ensured that their title defence got off to a solid start.

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