Victory did not come easy for six-time Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim against FA Cup champions Kedah in the Charity Shield match – winning the curtain-raiser 1-0 at their brand new Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri on Friday.
However, the Southern Tigers did enough to become the first team to win the Charity Shield for the third time in a row – thanks to Mauricio dos Santos’ 45th minute header.
The match also counted towards the league points and winning start to their campaign this year – eyeing the seventh successive Super League title.
It was a night of frustration for the Red Eagles who had a better of the first-half but new signings Hadin Azman, Kipre Tchetche and Kpah Sherman muffed the opportunities that came their way.
While Brazilian Mauricio became the first player to score at the spanking RM200 state-of-the-art 35,000 capacity stadium. Kedah skipper Baddrol Bakhtiar became the first to get a booking which came as early as the fifth minute.
Mauricio rose to plant an unchallenged header from a Gonzalo Cabrera assist which began from a corner kick.
JDT coach Benjamin Mora said the goal was a ”boost of confidence” for his team to take the halftime break with a 1-0 lead.
Datuk Hasni Mohammad, who was sworn in as the 18th Johor Mentri Besar hours earlier at Istana Bukit Serene before His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, watched the match.
Hasni later gave away the medals and presented the silverware to JDT skipper Hariss Harun.
Club owner HRH Major-General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, the Crown Prince of Johor also watched the match.