BY OOI KIN FAI Follow on Twitter
|MAN OF THE MATCH
JDT 1-1 Pahang
It was a baptism of fire for Marcos Antonio, who was thrown in right from the start by Bojan Hodak to play his first ever game for Johor Darul Takzim against Super League leaders, Pahang. To take the place of captain, Aidil Zafuan would only serve to add more pressure on the shoulder of the Brazilian.
However, the former Nuremberg, Auxerre and Rapid Bucharest defender did not disappoint the management as he produced a dominating performance at the back for JDT. Slotting in seamlessly alongside Fadhli Shas, Antonio played like he had already built up and understanding with the Malaysian centre back, not allowing big gaps of space between them the entire time he was on the pitch.
That said, Antonio was culpable for allowing Damion Stewart to get beyond his at the back post for Pahang’s equalising goal that was his only poor decision in the match. The dominance he showed against the muscular presence of Dickson Nwakaeme was both surprising and a lesson to up and coming defenders.
There’s a big battle coming for the centre backs in JDT’s ranks now that Antonio has joined the squad. Aidil and S. Subramaniam face a fight on their hands if they are to feature again in the starting line-up for the Southern Tigers.