Felda United 0-0 Johor Darul Takzim: Both sides cancel each other out in a cagey encounter
Ten-men Felda United held on for a point against a lethargic Johor Darul Takzim side who were without regular players
By Falah Abdullah
|FROM PETALING JAYA
By Falah Abdullah
An out of sorts Southern Tigers failed to capitalise on numerous chances as the Settlers held on to a precious point at the MBPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya.
Fandi Ahmad surprised many when he reshuffled his line-up and dropped under-performing skipper Safiq Rahim. In his absence, Simone Del Nero was given the freedom to roam and it was his link up play with Safee Sali that helped create the first chance of the game in the fifth minute.
Del Nero’s delicious through pass almost found its way to Safee but Felda United custodian, Mohd Helmi, was quick to sense the danger.
The first real chance of the game however fell to the home side as Shafizan Hashim’s crushing long range effort was parried away by Darul Takzim’s reserve goalkeeper, Zulfadhli. The travelling Southern Tigers fans breathed a sigh of relief as the shot looked destined for the net.
Those two efforts were the only real action of the first half with a Guiza-less Johor looking out of sorts whilst K. Devan’s Felda United slowly grew in confidence.
Both coaches made changes in the second half with Lebanese hitman Mohamed Ghaddar and former ATM star Zaquan Adha brought on for Felda United and Johor respectively.
Pacey winger, Zaquan Adha, was quick to make his mark on the game as his direct run down the right-hand side provided a golden chance for an unmarked Ahmed Ezrie to score. However, the central midfielder's header was tame and was easy for Mohd Helmi pick up.
Despite having little of the ball, the Settlers were still dangerous on the counter attack. In the 60th minute, Ghaddar dribbled past his marker before his dipping shot was saved by the impressive Zulfadhli.
However, with minutes left to play in the game, Ghaddar turned villain for Felda United as he was sent off for a second bookable offence due to his time wasting antics. It was a needless dismissal by the fiery striker.
Ten-men Felda United will certainly be the happier of the two sides as they held on for a valuable draw against favourites Johor Darul Takzim.
Fandi Ahmad on the other hand will have to go back to the drawing board to find a way to inspire his lethargic team.
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