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JDT wins Super League title for the third consecutive year


GOAL BY    OOI KIN FAI     Follow on Twitter


Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) becomes the first team in the history of Malaysia Super League to win the league title three years in a row when they beat Terengganu 3-0 to give them an unassailable lead over Felda United with the latter still having three matches left to go. Two goals from Pereyra Diaz and one from Safiq Rahim puts JDT on top of the league for the rest of the season.

Mario Gomez opted to go with his preferred XI with an almost unchanged line-up from the one that beat Felda United in the previous Super League match.Newly appointed national team captain, Amri Yahyah was the only change, coming in for Azinee Taib. As for Mustaffa Kamal, he was still missing the likes of Ismail Faruqi and Zubir Azmi.

JDT could have opened the scoring as early as the 6th minute when Martin Lucero beat the offside trap and was through on goal but Vincent Bikana managed to recover brilliantly to make the block. Terengganu would offer the occasional threat and in the 15th minute conjured up a good chance when Bogdan Milic put Issey Nakajima through but the Canadian sliced his shot wide.

Having scored in the previous league match, Aidil Zafuan would have fancied his chance when he met Safiq’s perfectly floated corner kick with a sweet powerful header but the accuracy was slightly off and the ball sailed just over the bar in the 21st minute.

Six minutes later, the earlier missed chances didn’t matter when Pereyra Diaz converted a penalty kick to put JDT 1-0 up. The penalty came when Dhiyaulrahman Hasry clipped the heels of S. Kunanlan who had worked his way from the side and into the penalty box. Safiq was the nominal taker but allowed Diaz the chance to move ahead of Francis Forkey Doe is the top goal scorer’s chart.

JDT could have went into half time at level pegging despite their dominance in the first half when Issey again was allowed time on the ball outside the box and he delivered a furious left footed shot towards the bottom left corner. However Izham Tarmizi was up to the task and his wonderful positioning meant that JDT maintains the lead at the break.

With the lead in hand, JDT played the second half at a slower pace but kept good control on the match. The home side were more content to take their time on the ball and be patient with their build-up.

In the 53rd minute, Safiq found himself at the edge of the penalty box and managed to slip the ball to Amri on the left. Amri produced a well-hit curler towards the far corner, however Sharbinee somehow managed to palm the ball away.

Issey remained the most threatening away player on the pitch and he almost put his name on the scoresheet in the 60th minute. A free kick was given to Terengganu on the edge of JDT's box and Issey produced a good effort that was just wide.

Things would turn to worse for The Turtles when in the 83rd minute, Hazmizan gave the ball directly to Diaz and the Argentine headed towards Terengganu's goal. Sharbinee had to bring Diaz down and the second penalty of the night was awarded. This time, Safiq took back the penalty duties and duly converted to make it 2-0.

Diaz would again be involved in the 86th minute when he got onto Azamuddin Akil's well-picked pass from the right hand side and got a touch ahead of Hafizal Mohamad to make it 3-0 to JDT.

It wasn't vintage JDT but the three goals meant three points that secures The Southern Tigers their third consecutive Super League title and are still yet to be beaten in the league this year. A momentous achievement that is matched at the end of the other spectrum by the Terengganu who now faces two matches to determine their Super League status.

JDT: Izham Tarmizi, S. Kunanlan, Marcos Antonio, Aidil Zafuan, Fazly Mazlan, Amirulhadi Zainal (Gary Steven Robbat 65'), Safiq Rahim (c), Azamuddin Akil, Amri Yahyah, Martin Lucero, Pereyra Diaz

Terengganu: Sharbinee Alawee, Hafizal Mohamad,Hasmizan Kamarodin, Vincent Bikana, Dhiyaulrahman Hasry, Fakhrurazi Musa (Yong Kuan Yong 90'), Sharin Sapien, Joseph Kalang Tie (Nordin Alias 75'), Issey Nakajima, Ashari Shamsudin, Bogdan Milic (Hairuddin Omar 75')

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