* JDT back to winning ways at Larkin Stadium
* Figueroa nets a brace as Selangor sent reeling
Selangor head coach Mehmet Durakovic was left stunned by Johor Darul Takzim hot-shot Luciano Figueroa who scored a brace and one assist as the defending champions destroyed the Red Giants 3-1 in Monday’s Super League match at Johor Bahru’s Larkin Stadium.
“JDT have unbelievable foreigners in their team…(Luciano) Figueroa is a world class player. With seven games to go we will try to stay afloat and keep pace at the top,” said the Australian after his team was outplayed by the Southern Tigers to keep pace with leaders Pahang after 15 matches.
Pahang lead the table standings with 33 points with JDT close second on 31 followed by Perak in third place with 27 and Felda United on 25 and Selangor in fifth place with 24 points.
JDT once again made the Larkin Stadium their happy hunting ground in the M-League to keep their unbeaten record at home this season after the crushing 6-1 defeat at the hands of German giants Borussia Dortmund in a friendly at the same venue last Thursday.
JDT coach Mario Gomez said the “three important points against Selangor will be the driving force in their remaining seven matches” as the league takes a three-week break for Hari Raya and Malaysia Selection’s friendly match against English club Liverpool at the National Stadium on July 24.
Figueroa had a hand in JDT’s first goal after 11 minutes. Amri Yahyah’s backheader from Mahali Jasuli’s long cross found the Argentine who sent it back for Amri and the former Selangor stalwart ended it with a neat finish past Selangor goalkeeper Hamsani Ahmad.
Then came the drama in the first half of added time when Selangor’s Indonesian ace Andik Vermansyah’s long range freekick took a bounce in the JDT six-yard box in front of goalkeeper Farizal Marlias and hit the back of the net to make 1-1.
However, a minute later Figueroa jumped high to plant a glancing header past Hamsani from another long range cross – this time it was from S. Kunanlan – and the home fans were signing again.
Selangor lost Hamsani through injury after 61 minutes and was replaced by Syamim Othman who did well to keep JDT at bay until the 79th minute when Leandro Dos Santos was hauled up for a foul and referee Shamsudin Ibrahim awarded a freekick.
It proved to be disastrous for the Red Giants as Figueroa found a gap in the Selangor wall to send the ball into the back of the net past Syamim. JDT 3-1 and the score remained until the final whistle.
It was Selangor’s second defeat in a row, having lost to Pahang at the Shah Alam Stadium by the same margin on July 8
The match at the Larkin Stadium had its fair share of skirmishes.
SUPER LEAGUE RESULT (July 13)
JDT 3 Selangor 1