JOHOR DARUL TAKZIM came off 3-0 winners over Singapore S-League club side Hougang in the first of five friendles that have been lined up by the Johor outfit during the three-week break in the M-League.
More importantly, the friendly, that was played at Larkin Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday, was heart-warming for Johor Darul Takzim coach-cum-manager Fandi Ahmad as Daniel Guiza “came through unscathed” during the more than 10 minutes he played.
Guiza, a former Spain international who helped his country win the 2008 European Championship, was injured in Johor Darul Takzim’s 1-0 win over Perak in a first round FA Cup match at the Larkin Stadium last Friday.
The 31-year-old Spaniard took a bad fall, landing heavily on his left shoulder after colliding with an opponent midway in the second half. He was subsequently replaced.
“Guiza showed no effects of the injury although he played for only 10 minutes. We tried out the reserves in the match,” said Johor Darul Takzim assistant coach Ismail Ibrahim.
Guiza is one of several names on Johor Darul Takzim’s crock list. The others are Safee Sali, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, both internationals who had to withdraw from the national squad that left for Dubai this morning for the Asian Cup qualifier against Qatar on Feb 6.
In the match against Hougang, reserve striker Azinee Taib scored a brace while Muslim Ahmad got the other.
On Thursday, Johor Darul Takzim will take on H20 Dream Team at the ITE Centre in Ang Mo Kio, Singapore. This will be followed by a friendly against another S-League side, Geylang United, at Larkin Stadium on Feb 3.
Johor Darul Takzim’s fourth friendly is against Singapore Armed Forces FC at the same venue on Feb 6. The final friendly is against the Singapore Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Feb 9.
The Southern Tigers resume their Super League campaign with a home match against Terengganu’s T-Team, coached by Englishman Peter Butler. The Johor hopefuls are currently in fifth place in the league with eight points after five matches.