Malaysian Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim carved out a 2-1 win over Korean champions Suwon Samsung Bluewings for their first win in Group G in the AFC Champions League match at the new Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri on Tuesday.
The win has rekindled JDT’s hopes of a place in the last 16 after a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Japan’s Vissel Kobe in Kobe in their first match.
Tuesday’s win took JDT into second place in the group with three points. Vissel Kobe leads the table with six points after two wins.
It took a penalty in the 13th minute for JDT to grab the lead after Diogo was felled inside the box by Korean defender Min Sang-gi. Gonzalo Cabrera duly converted the spot-kick to put the Southern Tigers 1-0 up.
Suwon, who lost to Vissel Kobe 1-0 in their first match, drew level on 51 minutes with a gem of a goal from their Australian midfielder Terry Antonis who curled in a delightful left-footer from the outside of the box, beating JDT goalkeeper Farizal Marlias all the way. Antonis had earlier replaced Myeong Jun-jae in the second half.
However, JDT was undeterred with the equalizer and instead upped their tempo as the match progressed – determined to keep their unbeaten record at Sultan Ibrahim Stadium intact. In the first match at the new stadium, JDT defeated Kedah 1-0 to retain the Charity Shield.
Mauricio Nascimento ensured a sweet win for JDT and this came on 73 minutes when e shrugged off two markers to send an unstoppable header past Suwon goalkeeper No Dong-geon from a perfectly swung cross by Nazmi Faiz Mansor.
“It was a very difficult match for us against a very disciplined Suwon. However, we got out job done…it was a collective effort from the team,” said JDT’s Mexican coach Benjamin Mora after the win. RIZAL ABDULLAH