Argentine Jorge Pereyra Diaz hit his 8th league goal of the season to secure Johor the Malaysian Super League title
BY MARK DAWSON
|MAN OF THE MATCH
Jorge Pereyra Diaz
Sarawak 0-1 JDT
Johor have finally got the league title that their owners craved, and it is no small statement to say that amongst all the millions spent, without Argentine Jorge Pereyra Diaz then it would not have been possible. Once again he was the player that inspired the Southern Tigers in the final push over the line, just as it seemed that stage fright and nerves would consume them against Sarawak.
Since arriving in the last transfer window, replacing fellow Argentine Pablo Aimar, Diaz has been a revelation. Filling Aimar's boots is no small feat, but from the first moment he has pulled on the JDT shirt he has demonstrated his class, requiring no time to adapt to the rigours of Malaysian football.
His winning goal over Sarawak was his eighth MSL strike of the season, a remarkable return which was the key factor for Johor's recent form and rise to the summit of Malaysian football. Against Sarawak he always looked the most dangerous player on the pitch, twice going close with efforts in the opening 15 minutes as he took the responsibility to drive his team on.
He was busy throughout, always looking to either get on the ball, or make an incisive run in-behind the Crocs defence where he would hopefully be found by one of his teammates. His partnership with Luciano Figueroa has at times been telepathic, and it was again play between the two which led to the games only goal. This time Figueroa was the provider with a flicked header, and Diaz gambled on the header, showing strength and desire to get past Ramesh Lai, before coolly finishing.
Diaz was the difference tonight between the two teams, and ultimately has been the difference between JDT finishing first and second.