Johor Darul Takzim 2-2 LionsXII: Norshahrul saves the Southern Tigers
Johor Darul Takzim dropped points to a determined LionsXII side even though the hosts started the second half with all guns ablaze
By Sadat Osman
Johor Darul Takzim dropped points to their causeway rivals LionsXII in an exciting game of two halves that ended 2-2.
Fandi Ahmad’s men went behind twice in the first half after goals from Hariss Harun and Baihakki Khaizan. Johor’s equalisers came from Simone Del Nero in the first period, and from Norshahrul in the second 45 minutes.
The causeway derby started with Johor on the front-foot right at the kick-off. Simone Del Nero demonstrated the danger he possesses by intercepting a pass in the centre circle to catch the visitors off guard and cause a scare amongst them.
The Southern Tigers started the game with hotshot Dani Guiza upfront and Simone Del Nero in midfield but despite this it was the Lions who dominated play for most of the first half.
In the 4th minute, V. Sundramoorthy’s men broke the deadlock. Hafiz’s cross was deflected toward Shahril Ishak who then laid off the ball toward Hariss. The midfielder took advantage of the acres available to him and slammed a volley into the back of the net.
Johor Darul Takzim were continuously pressed by the LionsXII and were not allowed to string together any passes in the middle of the park.
However despite their inability to keep the ball with any great success, Fandi’s men managed to equalise six minutes later and it was again Nurul Azwan who was at the heart of the move with an excellent run down the left. His cross found the Italian maestro, Del Nero, who met the cross with a beautiful diving header to equalise for the hosts and send the previously silent home crowd ecstatic.
The visitors pressed on for a second goal and they almost scored a carbon copy of their first as Hariss attempted to slot home from the edge of the box in the 32nd minute, but it was blocked by Muslim Ahmad.
Johor did fall to another LionsXII attack in the 37th minure however as Baihakki met Shahril Ishak’s free kick from the left hand side with a diving header into the bottom left corner to give the visitors a 2-1 half time lead.
At the beginning of the second half, Johor pressed hard to again draw level, with superb runs from Nurul Azwan who was a nuisance throughout the game. LionsXII were forced back but defended well to keep Fandi’s imports, Guiza and Del Nero quiet in the most part.
But it was Norshahrul who came to Johor’s rescue to score the second equaliser. Mat-Yo got the better of Hariss and drilled his shot into the back of the net from outside the box.
Following this the LionsXII were at sixes and sevens as Johor charged forward to try and find the third goal, forcing numerous saves and blocks from the visitors’ defence.
However, the Southern Tigers didn’t have enough time to score the winner meaning that this enthralling match ended level. preserving Johor's unbeaten record at home.
Johor move into the next round of the Malaysian Super League with a trip to Felda United on February 22.
|Sign up with Ladbrokes for a free bet up to $100|
Johor Darul Ta'zim
- Own Goal
- Penalty Missed
- Yellow Card
- Penalty Save
- Penalty Shootout Goal
- Penalty Shootout Miss
- Yellow Card / Red Card
- Red Card
- Substitution IN
- Substitution OUT
- Goal.com Rating
- Goal.com Man of the Match
- Goal.com Flop of the Match
- Top & Flop Global Ranking
- Fans' Man of the Match
- Fans' Flop of the Match