Darul Takzim FC 1-0 Perak FA: The Southern Tigers see off the challenge from Perak
Darul Takzim FC rose to the occasion in front of their home crowd to register their first victory of the season over nine men Perak
By Khalis Rifhan
By Khalis Rifhan
Johor Darul Takzim tasted their first victory of the season as they saw off the challenge from Perak FA at the Tan Sri Dato' Haji Hassan Yunos stadium in Larkin on Friday night.
Despite playing with a two men advantage after Mohd Khairi and Hisyamudin Shaari went for early shower in the first half, Johor was not able to penetrate the tight Perak defence and could only register a one nil victory courtesy of Aidil Zafuan's goal in the second half.
Simone Del Nero, who missed Darul Takzim's first match three days ago, started the at right midfield and formed a telepathic partnership with former Spanish international, Dani Guiza, who was playing upfront with national player, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha.
Despite dominating the game in the first half, the Southern Tigers were not able to turn their chances in goal as they were met with a very sturdy Perak defence led by the towering 1.98 metre Brazilian Rafael Souza Novais.
Just before break, it was all over for coach Azraai Kor Abdullah as his team was left with nine men on the pitch as Mohd Khairi had an early shower after the midfielder was shown a second yellow card for his challenge on Dani Guiza.
Minutes later, Hisyamudin Shaari was given the marching orders too for a second bookable offence. It was an easy decision for referee Syed Azhar Syed Kamar as Hisyamudin's foot was dangerously high and went lunging in onto Del Nero's chest.
Taking advantage of their numerical superiority, Johor took the lead three minutes after the break as captain Safiq Rafim sent a sublime curler from a corner which was headed into the back of the net by defender, Aidil Zafuan.
The home crowd were on their feet as Malaysian national striker Safee Sali was brought on by coach Fandi Ahmad to replace Azmi Muslim in the 55th minutes of the game.
But there was no further celebration for the hosts as the visitors stayed compact and disciplined at the back, led by towering 1.98 metre Brazilian defender Rafael Souza, to keep the scoreline the same till the final whistle, much to the frustration of the Johor faithful.
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