Johor Darul Ta’zim toil to victory over Tampines Rovers

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Johor Darul Ta’zim are one of three teams tied at the top of AFC Cup Group H following a 2-1 win over Tampines Rovers at the Larkin Stadium on Wednesday.

Harimau Selatan opened the scoring after 13 minutes when Safawi Rasid received possession from S. Kunanlan and charged towards goal, before unleashing a left-footed rocket over the head of Syazwan Buhari from all of 25 yards.

However, Tampines pulled level in the 45th minute courtesy of a Khairul Amri penalty, following a needless handball by La’Vere Corbin-Ong inside the area.

Still, the hosts always looked the likelier of the two teams to go on and grab the winner, which duly arrived in the 79th minute when Ahmad Hazwan Bakri was released by Natxo Insa’s slide-rule pass and coolly finished past Syazwan Buhari.

With Persija Jakarta beating Song Lam Nghe An 1-0 in the other match, the two sides – along with JDT – are now level on seven points at the summit, while the Stags remain rooted to the bottom of the group with a measly point from four matches.

JOHOR DARUL TA’ZIM: Izham Tarmizi, S. Kunanlan, Aidil Zafuan, Adam Nor Azlin, La’Vere Corbin-Ong, Afiq Fazail, Natxo Insa, Safiq Rahim (Hariss Harun 65’), Syafiq Ahmad (Azrif Nashrulhaq 61’), Safawi Rasid, Ahmad Hazwan Bakri (Darren Lok 82’).

TAMPINES ROVERS: Syazwan Buhari, Irwan Shah, Irfan Najeeb, Fahrudin Mustafic (Afiq Yunos 75’), Daniel Bennett, Safirul Sulaiman, Fazrul Nawaz (Shah Shahiran 87’), Amirul Adli, Ryutaro Megumi, Jordan Webb (Zulfadhmi Suzliman 71’), Khairul Amri.