JOHOR BAHRU – The Southern Tigers have got back its roar when it beat defending champions Kashima Antlers 1-0 on its own turf for its first win in Group E of the Asian Champions League (ACL) at the Tan Sri Hassan Yunos Stadium last night.
Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad was the hosts’ hero who opened the opportunity for Johor Darul Tak’zim (JDT) to try their luck to advance to the 16th round.
Kudos should be given to the host team for taking the initiative to the Japanese team’s goal-mouth but failed to score due to weak finishings.
The visitors also failed to plan dangerous attacks and appeared at a loss at the JDT’s goalmouth.
The 0-0 result stayed until the end of the first half.
Go Oiwa’s players, who were hard-pressed, immediately went into attack mode in the second half but their attempts were foiled by the JDT goalkeeper.
The goal which placed JDT ahead was when a Harris Harun pass morphed into a powerful kick by Muhammad Syafiq which left the defenders flat-footed in the 68th minute.
The 1-0 result stayed until the final whistle.
JDT, prior to this started the ACL campaign with a narrow 1-2 loss to the defending champions Kashima Antlers in the opening action on March 5 and drew 1-1 against South Korean club Gyeongnam FC in Larkin on March 12.
On April 24, JDT lost 0-1 against Shandong Luneng FC of China on home ground.
Earlier, the meeting with the club from China also recorded a 2-1 loss at the match in Jinan, Shandong, China.
JDT, now, had one more match with Gyeongnam FC, which would be held in South Korea on May 22. -BERNAMA