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Johor DT 3-0 Lao Toyota FC: Safiq Rahim fires Southern Tigers to victory

Johor Darul Ta’azim (JDT) continued their 100% winning run in Group H of the 2016 AFC Cup with a 2-0 win over Lao Toyota FC at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Bahru earlier tonight.

The Southern Tigers head coach Mario Gomez said in a press conference yesterday that he will make a number of changes for tonight’s match and he did exactly that. The Argentinian started Izham Tarmizi in goal and his front six was completely different than the last match against the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM). Valakone Phomphakdy confirmed that he will start all four of his Japanese players and the Laos international stuck to his word.

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

The AFC Cup tie started in the home side’s direction as they were comfortable in passing the ball around and controlling the tempo of the first ten minutes. Amirulhadi Zainal almost broke the deadlock on the 14th minute but his effort just went a few yards off the target.

The third group stage match carried on and both sides had a few glimpses of attacking opportunities but the defensive units from each team were excelling in breaking the play.

Nazrin Nawi, who did not make Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s national squad, saw his effort on goal disallowed after he was in an offside position a few minutes before half-time.

The home crowd was disappointed with their side’s lack of attempts in the first 45 minutes.

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

Mario Gomez made two changes ten minutes into the second half, bringing on Pereyra Diaz and team captain Safiq Rahim for Nazrin Nawi and Fazly Mazlan respectively.

Immediately, the reigning AFC Cp champions piled a truckload of pressure on the Laos club and Safee Sali managed to win a penalty on the 60th minute after Japanese centre-back Takahiro Saito handled the ball in the penalty box and was sent off by Syria’s Hanna Hattab. Safiq Rahim comfortably slotted it to the left-hand side of the goal to claim his fifth goal of the 2016 AFC Cup campaign and the home fans went into a state of ecstasy.

Five minutes later, S. Kunanlan was sent off after getting a second yellow for a harsh tackle.


S. Chanturu was brought down in the box on the 73rd minute and the Syrian referee pointed to the penalty spot again. Safiq Rahim scored a ‘panenka’ to make it six goals in three games in the AFC Cup this season for the Southern Tigers and Harimau Malaysia captain.

Jorge Pereyra Diaz almost made it three ten minutes from time after his audacious attempt was saved by Lao Toyota goalkeeper Vatthana Kaoduangdeth.

Amri Yahya cooly made it three on the 91st minute after playing a brilliant one-two with Safiq Rahim and the ex-Selangor midfielder slotted it between the goalkeeper’s legs. He celebrated by folding his arms and sitting on the advertisement board beside the goal.

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

JDT sit on top of Group H with nine points, whereas the three teams have three points each.

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