JDT 2-1 Bengaluru FC: Southern Tigers claw I-League champions

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) – The reigning Malaysia Super League (MSL) champions, 2014 FA Cup and Malaysia Cup finalists made a bright start to their football history setting campaign to become the first Malaysian team to compete in the prestigious AFC Champions League competition by brushing aside I-League champions, Bengaluru FC in extra time.

JDT head coach, Bojan Hodak started the game with an unorthodox line-up featuring seven midfielders; with Amirulhadi Zainal playing the ‘false number nine’ role upfront.

This tactical move allowed the Southern Tigers a lion’s share of the possession with some neat passing movements in the first half but the penetration needed was clearly lacking due to the absence of a natural striker.

Singapore’s defensive midfielder Hariss Harun finally broke the deadlock in the 47th minute much to the delight of the 30,000 strong home crowd in Stadium Tan Sri Haji Hassan Yunus as he applied the finishing touches to Nazrin Nawi’s corner kick.

The defending I-League champions silenced the JDT supporters in the dying minutes of the game through midfield playmaker, Lyngdoh’s unstoppable swerving corner kick which went straight into Farizal Marlias’ net.

The introduction of Jorge Diaz in the second half paid dividends as JDT scored the crucial winning goal in the 96th minute of the game after the Argentinian sent an acute through pass to Suppiah Chanturu who calmly slotted home past Bengaluru FC custodian, Mawia.

The Southern Tigers are now through to the second round of the preliminary stage and will face 2014 Thailand FA Cup champions, Bangkok Glass FC next Tuesday.

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