# Skipper Safiq Rahim plunders a hattrick

# Juan Martin Lucero ends his goal drought with a brace


The long overdue goals from new signing Juan Martin Lucero flowed finally for the Argentine as he chose the perfect place to show that he is an able replacement for the much loved Luciano Figueroa.

Lucero finished without a goal in Johor Darul Takzim’s last three matches – two in the Super League and one in the FA Cup match.

But he showed the Larkin Stadium fans what to expect from him when he scored JDT’s sixth and seventh goals in their massive 8-1 win over Myanmar’s Ayeyawady in a Group H match in the AFC Cup on Wednesday.

Skipper Safiq Rahim led the onslaught with a hattrick – opening the floodgates as early as the fifth minute with a solo run from midfield before hitting the back of the opponents net from outside the box.

The visitors were quick to hit back two minutes through Thiha Zaw but it did not rattle the Southern Tigers who grew in confidence with each minute.

JDT were 2-1 ahead on 13 minutes – this time Jorge Pereyra Diaz who finished off a delight cross from S. Kunanlan on the right.

The homesters took the halftime break with a 3-1 lead with Safiq turning provider from a corner-kick for Brazilian defender Marcos Antonio hitting home from inside the six-yard box.

The Southern Tigers resumed the second with Safiq netting his second and his third in the 49th and 62nd minutes respectively. Each time Pereyra Diaz laid the groundwork and Safiq’s finishing was clinical.

Lucero took over the show in a five minute spell- getting his first on 82 minutes before adding a second on 86 minutes.

JDT ended a glorious night when defender Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak went all the way up to head home Safiq’s freekick in the 89th minute.

“We played with patience to win the match,” said JDT coach Mario Gomez in a live interview over TV after the match.

The big win drove home the message that JDT are in no mood to surrender the AFC Cup which they won last year – defeating Tajikistan club FC Istiklol 1-0 in the final in Dushanbe.

Meanwhile in a Group E match played in Bocolod City in the Philippines on Tuesday, Selangor were held to a 2-2 draw by Ceres La Salle after coming back from a goal down to lead 2-1.

The Malaysia Cup champions scored through Mauro Olivi and Hafiz Kamal. The homesters scored through Stephan Shrock and Adrian Gallardo.



Group H

JDT      8     Ayeyawady United      1

(Match played on Wednesday)


Group E

Ceres La Salle        2      Selangor      2

(Match played on Tuesday) 

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