Cesare Jimenez's men secured a pivotal away victory as they netted two goals to defeat Sime Darby earlier today
BY KEESHAANAN SUNDARESAN Follow on Twitter
But having said that, Sime Darby appeared with the first real chance of the game as Fahrul Razi found space on the 11th minute mark to unleash a predatory attempt, though his shot was saved well by Izham Tarmizi.
Six minutes later, Fahrul Razi has yet another attempt to put the home side upfront. But the ex-Perak flanker's free kick attempt went straight into the hands of Izham yet again.
But just as Sime Darby were slowly edging into the game, Johor striked first blood through Luciano Figueroa, who fired home a terrific free kick attempt that left the Sime Darby goalie in despair.
From that moment, the Southern Tigers showed more initiative on the offence, especially via their fullbacks. Mahali Jasuli's overlapping runs were proving to be a menace, and he even found some space on the 26th minute, and unleashed a cross into the box. However, the cross was easily picked up by the Sime Darby goalkeeper.
But just four minutes later, Johor got their coveted second goal as Norshahrul Idlan showed incredible predatory instinct to pounce onto the rebound of a spectacular attempt from Safiq Rahim, and fired home to double their lead.
The 2-0 lead left Sime Darby with a mountain to climb; something that they ultimately failed to do until the end of he game. However, the home side did show more intent in the second half.
On the 59th minute, Prabakaran showed great tenacity down the flanks, but his final product sailed just over the bar, much to the disappointment of Ismail Zakaria.
Three minutes later, Dilshod was shown a red card for what appeared to be a harsh challenge on Mahali and that literally destroyed the chances of a terrific comeback from Sime Darby. From this moment on, Johor began to dictate the tempo of the game, though they themselves struggled to make chances pay on the final third.
Luciano Figuero has several chances to add a third goal, but all to no avail. Fahrul Razi, who looked like Sime Darby's best attacking outlet throughout the game, also had a couple of essential chances that were ultimately wasted.
Nonetheless, the game was an entertaining affair until the end, with Johor seizing a well deserved victory courtesy of goals from Figueroa and Norshahrul.