Man of the Match: Johor DT 4-1 Negeri Sembilan

It wasn’t a surprise at all. Mario Gomez knows he’s got to keep his squad fresh, and he certainly did by keeping the likes of Safiq Rahim, Jorge Diaz and even Juan Martin Lucero on the bench.

But it also meant that several other fringe players now had the perfect opportunity to impress and stake their claim for a regular first team spot. Not everyone managed to do that though – certainly not Gary Steven Robbat. But Azniee Taib proved his mettle with an instrumental performance on the flanks, scoring once besides providing the assist for Jorge Diaz’s second goal.

The ex-Penang flanker was a constant threat on the wing, using his pace and trickery to cause problems for the Negeri defence. He made an instant impact upon kick-off, scoring a brilliant right-footed effort that sailed into the back of the net to make it 1-0 for JDT.

Photo Credit: Johor Southern Tigers
Photo Credit: Johor Southern Tigers

But Azniee could have even scored a few more, had his attempts been a little more clinical. Midway through the first half, he was played through by Amri Yahya’s inch-perfect pass, and Azniee unleashed an ambitious effort from the edge of the box, only to see it go above the bar.

Minutes after that, he switched flanks with Azamuddin Akil, before providing a terrific cross for the ex-Pahang man, at the end of a counter-attack. Unfortunately, Azamuddin could only fire wide.

If that wasn’t enough, Azniee continued to play an influential role after the break and eventually notched an assist by laying it for Jorge Diaz late in the game. The Argentinian duly coverted the chance and pointed towards Azniee, acknowledging his role in the goal.

Irrespective of JDT’s comprehensive win, Azniee performance was good enough to cause Mario Gomez an additional team selection headache, ahead of their next fixture.

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