Johor Darul Ta’zim’s AFC Champions League dream ended by Gyeongnam FC

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Johor Darul Ta’zim’s hopes of reaching the AFC Champions League 2019 Round of 16 were ended on Wednesday as they were beaten 2-0 by Gyeongnam FC at the Changwon Football Center.

The Malaysia Super League outfit always faced an uphill task heading into game, as they needed to win and hope Kashima Antlers lost to Shandong Luneng in order to finish inside the top two of Group E.

As expected, it was Gyeongnam who created the better of the chances and came close to breaking the deadlock after nine minutes.

Having parried a half-volley from Yeo Sung-hae, JDT goalkeeper Farizal Marlias then reacting brilliantly to deny Luc Castaignos on the rebound from point-blank range.

A minute after the hour mark, the hosts came close again when a quick freekick saw Bae Ki-jong race through on goal but again Farizal came to the rescue, making himself big to deny his opponent one-on-one.

AFC Champions League 2019: Gyeongnam FC 1-0 Johor Darul Ta’zim (Luc Castaignos 65′)

Nonethless, there was to be no deying the South Koreans in the 65th minute when a long ball into the box was flicked on by Lee Kwang-seon, with Castaignos reacted quickest to the loose ball and rifling a shot in off the near post.

Now needing two goals, the visitors showed increased endeavour pushing forward in the closing stages but were just unable to find the breakthrough and were hit on the counter deep into injury-time; Kim Seung-jun racing through and unselfishly laying off for Takahiro Kunimoto to finish.

AFC Champions League 2019: Gyeongnam FC 2-0 Johor Darul Ta’zim (Takahiro Kunimoto 90+4′)

GYEONGNAM FC: Son Jeong-hyeon, Woo Joo-sung, Lee Kwang-seon, Yeo Sung-hae, Ahn Sung-nam, Ha Sung-min, Takahiro Kunimoto, Lee Yeong-jae (Bae Ki-jong 55’), Kim Seung-jun, Negueba, Luc Castaignos (Ko Kyung-min 77’).

JOHOR DARUL TA’ZIM: Farizal Marlias, S. Kunanlan, Mauricio (Adam Nor Azlin 51’), Aidil Zafuan, La’Vere Corbin-Ong, Akhyar Rashid (Nazmi Faiz 71’), Afiq Fazail, Hariss Harun, Gonzalo Cabrera, Syafiq Ahmad (Ahmad Hazwan Bakri 83’), Diogo.