Only five rounds of matches in the 2019 Malaysia Super League to go and Johor Darul Ta'zim are keeping their boat steady on course towards the finishing line. The 3-2 win achieved over Selangor on Wednesday at Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium was their 13th from 17 matches played and their title coronation is now only a matter of when rather than if.
Gonzalo Cabera set JDT on their way with a sumptuous strike from distance in the 10th minute and the home side quickly doubled their lead through Leandro Velazquez just two minutes later. Khyril Muhymeen pulled one back for Selangor in the 41st minute but Safawi Rasid's 61st minute strike secured all three points for JDT even though Sandro da Silva did narrow the gap late on with a penalty conversion.
Team manager Luciano Figueroa was proud in the manner of his team recovering from the shock 1-1 draw at lowly PKNP FC in the previous game. While the performance on the pitch was not necessary up to mark, the Argentine was nevertheless pleased to see them making sure the 13 points gap to Pahang was maintained.
"First I'm very happy for the three points because at this point, it's very important to us. We started very well and scored two early goals. But then we started to go low and we have to improve that because it has happened many times to us. Selangor are very tough and they are one of the teams that tried to play good football also. They came here to try to win.
"Performance wise, we did not play the way we want to in the match. But when you're chasing the title, sometimes you have games like these. I'm not thinking about two games, I'm only thinking about the next game. We have to go step by step. We will go to Melaka and try to win this game then see what happens," said Figueroa in his post-match press conference.
It has been another remarkable Super League season from JDT and they are not only on course to win their sixth successive title, but if they avoid defeat in the final five matches, they also stand to repeat going the whole season being unbeaten.
Melaka are their next opponent with the match at Hang Jebat Stadium being scheduled for June 26, quickly followed by another away match in Ipoh to play Perak on July 7, which could seal their title win. Although should Pahang fail to pick up maximum points from their match against Selangor (June 25), JDT would already be celebrating long before that tricky encounter to Perak.
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