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JDT 2 Tampines 1: Hazwan the saviour for insipid JDT

17:35 GMT+3 14/03/2018
Safawi Rasid, Johor Darul Ta'zim
It's a tight Group H after Johor Darul Ta'zim beat Tampines Rovers 2-1 to go level on points with Persija Jakarta and Song Lam Nghe An.

The Southern Tigers only just about managed to beat Tampines Rovers for the first time in consecutive AFC Cup matches as narrow the points gap to group leaders, Song Lam.

With Persija winning at home to Song Lam, the group is now is three-way tussle for one automatic qualification spot while the second placed team will have to rely on results elsewhere.

JDT struck early when Safawi Rasid thundered in a powerful shot from outside the box in the 13th minute that left Syazwan Buhari completely done by the swerve of the ball.

Despite having a larger share of the ball possession, JDT just could not double their lead and were comically punished for it late in the opening half.

From a Tampines corner kick, La'Vere Corbin-Ong inexplicably handled the ball after Izham Tarmizi had mistaken the flight of the ball.

Khairul Amri step up to confidently dispatched the ball into the bottom corner, despite Izham guessing correctly to dive to his right.

A stunned JDT continued to find Tampines to be a stubborn side and Raul Longhi was forced to bring on Azrif Nasrulhaq and Hariss Harun for the ineffective duo of Syafiq Ahmad and Safiq Rahim respectively. 

Hazwan Bakri came close with header from point blank range but Syazwan came out with an incredible stop on his line to deny the home forward.

But Hazwan was not to be denied a second time after he latched onto Ignacio Insa's sublime through pass to side foot home what turned out to be the winner in the 79th minute.

With the win, JDT are tied on seven points together with Persija and Song Lam, with matches against both teams still to come.