Malaysian side Johor Darul Ta’zim had far too much firepower for Lao Toyota of Laos in their AFC Cup Group H match played at Johor Baru on Wednesday, running out comfortable 3-0 winners.
The result has JDT top of the group with nine points followed by Myanmar’s Ayeyawady United, JSW Bengaluru FC of India and Lao Toyota – all on three points.
The goals were scored via two penalties from Safiq Rahim in the 62nd and 74th minutes – his fifth and sixth goals of the tournament – and a third from Amri Yahyah on the stroke of full-time.
The home side struggled to break down their opponents during the first half in what started out a tightly contested game.
In the 14th minute, Amirul Hadi Zainal ran with the ball from midway in the Toyota half to fire a shot that went narrowly wide past Vatthana Kaoduangdeth’s right post.
JDT had slight scoring chances when Safee Sali headed over the bar from a corner and Amri Yahyah shot straight at the keeper from the penalty area and should have done better.
The game changed just after the hour mark when S. Chanturu crossed from the right and the ball was headed by Safee onto the arm of Lao’s Takahiro Sait. A penalty was awarded and the defender was shown a red card by the referee. Safiq stepped forward to score with the penalty and put his side 1-0 up.
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With 20 minutes remaining, JDT were down to 10-men as well when they had S. Kunanlan sent off for a second bookable offence.
The hosts were awarded another penalty in the 74th minute when Phatthana Syvilay fouled Chantaru in the area. Safiq again scored with his penalty kick for his side to lead 2-0.
Then, at the death, the third goal was scored by Yahyah who played a one-two with Safiq to put the ball through the keeper’s legs from close to finish the game off.