Bikana inspires Terengganu win over JDT

The hosts continued their fine start to the season after defeating their moneybags opponents 1-0, thanks to their centre-back's first-half strike


Both sides started the game on full force as chance after chancs were created within the opening 15 minutes. The combination between Amri Yahyah, Mat Yo and Luciano Figueroa was particularly impressive and the Southern Tigers started the party, courtesy of an attempt from Amri on the fifth minute. However, the veteran's shot was collected easily by Sharbinee Allawee.

Three minutes later, the home side almost had their first attempt. Norfarhan Muhammad, who initially signed for JDT before deciding to join Terengganu, tried threading a through pass for Marcio, but Asraruddin Putra was quick to intercept the ball.

Just one minute later, JDT came extremely close to striking first blood, but Figueroa's brilliantly executed attempt rattled against the crossbar.

But on the 16 minutes, Terengganu stamped their authority on the game as Vincent Bikana fired home from close range to put them ahead. The home crowd went wild, as the JDT players looked shell shocked on the pitch.

Terengganu almost doubled their lead, if not for Fadhli Shas's excellent interception on the 25 minutes.

Figueroa then showed top notch understanding with Norshahrul Idlan Talaha by playing a lone-two, but the final product from the ex-Kelantan man was parried away to safety by Sharbinee.

Cesare Jimenez's men kept pushing hard with Shakir Shaari pulling the strings in midfield, though Bikana and co seemed almost impossible to break down. Bikana in particular, looked rock solid and was winning every single aerial battle against Figueroa.

But the ex-Panathinaikos man had tricks under his sleeve and when he did finally evade Bikana's tight marking, Figueroa produced an exquisite effort that was dipping into the goal. Sharbinee though, pulled off a splendid save to keep Terengganu in front.

Norfarhan then tried his luck with a left-footed attempt, having found space on the edge of the box. But Izham Tarmizi was quick to save the shot and kept Johor in the game.

Just two minutes later, Figueroa produced another stunning shot that looked destined to hit the back of the net, only for Sharbinee to pull out yet another top save.

When all avenues seemed exhausted, Johor made several changes to alter the dynamics of the game. Amirulhadi Zainal, Nazrin Nawi and Safiq Rahim were all brought into the game, but Terengganu maintained resilience at the back.

In fact, they looked dangerous on the break, with JDT desperately pushing upfront in the last 10 minutes and Terengganu held on to secure a morale boosting 1-0 win over their title rivals.