KUALA LUMPUR, 5 July – Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) kissed goodbye to their hopes in the AFC Champions League when they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Japanese club Nagoya Grampus at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok on Sunday.
The Southern Tigers needed to win the match against Nagoya to stay in the hunt from Group G.
However, the Johor outfit fell behind as early as the fourth minute when Adam Nor Azlin fell Mateus Castro in the box.
For the record, JDT conceded three penalties in their 4-1 defeat to Pohang Steelers of Korea in their last match.
Mateus picked himself up and gave goalkeeper Haziq Nazli, playing his first match in the competition, no chance at all from his spot-kick.
It was a bad start for Benjamin Mora and his team who played without Shane Lowry, Afiq Fazail, Aiman Arif Hanapi and Matthew Davies because of suspension.
Nagoya looked like running away with an easy win when Hiroyuki Abe made it 2-0 on 28 minutes. Abe curled in a beautiful left footer into the right corner of the net after getting the better of his marker Corbin Ong.
However, the Southern Tigers were tightened their game after this and fought back into the picture with some neat buildups and off one of their forays upfront managed to reduce the deficit in the 42nd minute.
Corbin Ong’s long range attempt was parried away by Nagoya goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak into the path of Ramadhan Saifullah, who gleefully guided the ball back into the net. It was the first goal conceded by Nagoya in five matches.
With the win, Nagoya maintained their place at the top with 15 points after winning all five matches.
Pohang Steelers is second with 10 points from the same number of matches followed by JDT in third spot with three points and Thailand’s Ratchaburi FC fourth with one point.
JDT will face Ratchaburi in their final match in the group on Wednesday.

About The Author


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here