It was a win on the road for Johor Darul Ta'zim, only their second away win from seven matches played in the Super League thus far this season.
JDT have been dreadful on some of their away travels this season in all competitions, winning only four of those 10 away matches, including last night's 1-2 win over Kelantan at Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium.
Former JDT player, Mohammed Ghaddar put the home side ahead early in the first half as JDT struggled to cope with the high energy performance produced by vibrant young home team. Only a Safiq Rahim penalty ensured that both teams went into the break on level pegging.
JDT huffed and puffed before eventually finding the winner through Ignacio 'Natxo' Insa with just seven minutes left before the end of normal time to come away with all three points.
"We changed to 4-3-3 and we improve our style. This was a difficult match and we had to play 120%, not 100%. We got three points and it was very important for us."
"Difficult because they are young but good. They run, they press. The first 20 minutes was tough but over 90 minutes, it's difficult to maintain that. So we managed to control the second half," said Raul Longhi in the post-match press conference.
Fajer Ibrahim and his side surprised everyone with the brash style of football that had the Kelantan fans purring for more. Still early days but if he continues to get this kind of high-energy performance out of the team in every match, he will rightly feel vindicated over the decision to discard some of the senior players.
The tough fight provided was acknowledged by Insa himself. The midfielder has not had the same impact on the team this season that he had when he first arrived last year, but still showed plenty of leadership to guide his team to the win.
"It's true that they surprised us early on and managed to score. But we are an experienced team and we use that in the second half to win it at the end. It was not easy because the pitch was heavy," said Insa.
The win maintains the four points gap that JDT held over Pahang who also won last night against Melaka United. Meanwhile the defeat puts Kelantan still in the relegation zone but the mood around the camp, is certainly different from before.
There'll be another round of fixtures on Tuesday and Wednesday where JDT and Kelantan will face Selangor and PKNP FC respectively.