Featured, Football

Johor DT 7-2 Kaya: Lucero hattrick sends Southern Tigers into quarter-final

Johor Darul Ta’azim (JDT) qualified for the quarter-final of the AFC Cup after a thrashing 7-2 win over Philippines side Kaya FC at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Bahru earlier tonight.

The Southern Tigers head coach Mario Gomez went into game without Safiq Rahim as the team captain is currently recovering from an injury and Amirulhadi Zainal slotted in his place. Kaya FC boss Joel Villarino started three of his four foreign players with Alexander Borromeo, who has been at the club since 2003, leading the team in this stage for the first time ever.

The home side kicked things off in style after S. Kunanlan drilled the ball in the penalty box for Juan Martin Lucero but the Argentinian’s fancy effort just hit the post on the tenth minute. However, the ex-Independiente man did not miss from 20 yards out when he opened the scoring with a brilliant free-kick with his weaker foot four minutes later.

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


Jorge Pereyra Diaz was brought down in the penalty box by Ghanaian defender Alfred Osei on the 23rd minute and Fahad Jaber Al-Marri of Qatar awarded the penalty to the reigning champions. The Argentinian stepped up and scored his third AFC Cup goal of the season.

Izham Tarmizi launched a beautiful 70-yard ball to Jorge Pereyra Diaz nine minutes later and the club topscorer found Azamuddin Akil in the penalty box and the slightest of touch from the midfielder was enough for the ball to roll in past New Zealand goalkeeper Matt Acton.

The ex-Pahang player scored Johor Darul Takzim’s fourth and final goal of the half with a spectacular effort from the edge of the box six minutes from half-time. Azamuddin Akil’s strike was a reminiscent of Harry Kane’s wonderful curler against Arsenal on March 5.

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

The second half kicked off and the visitors were more dominating going into the half after OJ Porteria attempted to reduce the deficit from 25 yards out but Izham Tarmizi denied it. The Philippines international silenced the Boys of Straits after squeezing the ball past Izham Tarmizi to score the first goal at the Larkin Stadium in the AFC Cup this season.

A minute later (literally), Juan Martin Lucero scored his second goal of the game after blasting the ball past Matt Acton. Jorge Pereyra Diaz played provided once again after he found Mahali Jasuli, who was called up to the national team by Datuk Ong Kim Swee to replace an injured Matt Davies, and he took two touches before placing it to make it 6-1.

Juan Martin Lucero got himself a hat-trick on the 70th minute after hitting the ball to the roof of Matt Acton’s’ net. The Argentinian has now scored 20 goals in all competitions for his club.

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

Anton Ugarte reduced the deficit by five goals after scoring two minutes from full-time.

Juan Sebastian Veron was amongst the crowd tonight.

JDT will either face South China, Bengaluru or Tampines Rovers in the AFC Cup quarter-final.

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