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  • January 18, 2014
  • • 20:45
  • • Tan Sri Dato' Hj Hassan Yunos Stadium, Johor Bahru
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Johor Darul Ta'zim 2-0 Perak: Southern Tigers overcome defensive Seladangs

Johor Darul Ta'zim 2-0 Perak: Southern Tigers overcome defensive Seladangs

@effyamron_

JDT beat obstinate Perak at home in their opening match, through goals from Amri Yahyah and Luciano Figueroa

The Southern Tigers hosted the Seladangs for their first match of the 2014 season. After acquiring new imports such as Argentinian star Pablo Aimar and former LionsXII player Baihakki Kaizan, and his local counterparts, Amri Yahyah, Mahali Jasuli and Nazrin Nawi, the spotlight was understandably on them in this match.

The visitors meanwhile had gone through an upheaval during the off-season, losing most of their players after a controversial match-fixing investigation. However, they were succesful in securing the service of Myanmar U23 star Kyaw Zayar Win, and Perak needed to find stability first and foremost, in their first game.

However, it was Perak who threatened at first, through their new striker, Želimir Terkeš, who kept succesfully slipping past his markers.

In the 25th minute he came close to scoring from a deflected attempt, but JDT keeper Norazlan was quicker to punce on the stray ball.

But 10 minutes from the halftime whistle, it was JDT who scored the first goal of the match. When a Pablo Aimar's attempt went out for a corner, it was veteran striker Amri who was first to meet the delivery by Mahali, with a very narrow header that could not be stopped by Perak's newly-signed goalkeeper; Nur Haziq Aris. 

JDT found more confidence after the goal, but they were unable to double their lead before the break.

All eyes were surely on Pablo Aimar, playing at Stadium Larkin for the second time in his career, his first being as part of the Argentina youth national team in the 1997 Youth World Cup. But he was marked very closely by Perak defenders, and had to rely on his compatriot Luciano Figueroa, who he linked up neatly with.

However, the same cannot be said of Perak's Zayar Win, who failed to shine in his first match for his new team, and had to substituted off in the 67th minute.

The match never picked up though, with Perak doing too good a job in defending despite trailing, but five minutes from fulltime the visitors lost the service of Raffi Nagoorgani, who was given a second yellow for a body check on Figueroa.

The Southern Tigers used their one-man advantage to finally extend their lead, just two minutes later. Safiq Rahim fed Figueroa a through pass that split the defence apart, and he coolly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner to make it 2-0, a scoreline that stayed until the end.

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