KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 – Malaysian Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) ruled but in the end could only manage a 1-0 win over Thai club Ratchaburi FC at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok on Friday.
It was a much-needed win and the three points for the Johor club after their 1-0 defeat to Nagoya Grampus at the same venue on Tuesday.
The Southern Tigers moved into the second spot in Group G with three points while Nagoya leads with six points after defeating Pohang Steelers 3-0.
JDT was the dominating side against Ratchaburi but simply could bury their opponents from the opportunities that came their way or created on a night when much-acclaimed Brazilian hitman Bergson Da Silva could not tuck the ball into the net.
The new signing even missed a penalty after 28 minutes when his spot-kick was well-read and well saved by Ratchaburi goalkeeper Kampol Pathom-Attakul.
Earlier Bergson muffed several chances including hitting the bar in the 19th minute.
Former international Safiq Rahim started the match and had a good game, adding bite to the JDT engine room.
Safiq too had chances but Kampol was in top form until he was finally beaten in the 47th minute.
Safiq set up Leandro Velazquez and the Argentine scored with his left-footer that left Kampol rooted as the ball sailed into the right corner of his net. Safiq had done enough on the pitch until he was replaced on 73 minutes.
Young Arif Aiman Hanapi showed maturity in his game. The 19-year-old, playing in his first AFC Champions League, was a thorn in the Thai side with his good reading of the game and penetrating runs although he was booked in the 65t minute. Arif was substituted after 73 minutes.
JDT stayed away from the tournament last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic but the Malaysian Super League champions aim to make the knockout stage this time.
Their next match is a real test when they play Pohang Steelers.
*(Pic credit to JST)

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