JOHOR BAHRU, 2022, MAY 18 – Eight-time Malaysia Super League champions, Johor Darul Ta’zim FC (JDT) had to come from behind to salvage a point in the fixture against Sri Pahang FC at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium earlier on.
The defending champions managed to avoid their first defeat in the competition since they last lost to Terengganu FC at the same venue on 24 April last year.
The match started off with both sides evenly matched, limiting each other’s chances. The breakthrough came in the 17th minute when Fernando Forestieri stole the ball from the defenders and exchanged passes with La’Vere Corbin-Ong before lobbing a through ball to Bérgson da Silva who expertly controlled the ball inside the box and volleyed past Mamadou Samassa.
Christophe Gamel‘s men responded in the 38th minute when Mahmoud Saleem Za’tara led a counter attack by intercepting a misplaced pass by Afiq Fazail and Saiful Jamaluddin equalised from long range, beating Farizal Marlias off the post.
While the Southern Tigers were persistently trying to find the second goal, the Tok Gajah added another four minutes later through a penalty kick by Manuel Hidalgo after Za’tara was brought down by Shahrul Saad at the edge of the box.
Sri Pahang seemed to be walking away with three points as the clock winds down, the referee Ahmad Zuhaidi Dzulkifli pointed to the spot after seeing Bérgson being pushed by Hasnul Zaim Zafri in the penalty box.
The Brazilian hitman made no mistake and bagged a late equalizer for JDT as Benjamin Mora‘s men remain at the top of the league table with 16 points, one point ahead of the nearest rival over Sabah FC and a game in hand.
JOHOR DARUL TA’ZIM FC
Starting Lineup: 1. Farizal Marlias (C), 2. Matthew Davies, 32. Shahrul Saad, 7. Aidil Zafuan, 22. La’Vere Corbin-Ong (17. Ramadhan Saifullah 83′), 6. Nathaniel Shio Hong Wan (25. Moussa Sidibé 60′), 21. Nazmi Faiz (8. Safiq Rahim 73′), 4. Afiq Fazail, 42. Arif Aiman, 9. Bérgson da Silva, 45. Fernando Forestieri
Unused Substitutes: 24. Izham Tarmizi, 3. Adam Nor Azlin, 12. S. Kunanlan, 91. Syahmi Safari, 5. Syamer Kutty, 11. Safawi Rasid
SRI PAHANG FC
Starting Lineup: 30. Mamadou Samassa, 13. Ashar Al Aafiz, 4. Nicholas Swirad, 27. Azwan Aripin (Syaahir Nizam 77′), 33. Hasnul Zaim Zafri, 19. Sharul Nizam, 20. Azam Azih, 55. David Rowley (33. Saiful Jamaluddin 28′), 88. Manuel Hidalgo (Johan Martial 90′), 12. Baqiuddin Shamsudin (11. Shahrul Aizad 90′), 9. Mahmoud Za’tara
Unused Substitutes: 1. Zarif Irfan, 37. Amin Che Jusoh, 22. Nur Izzat Che Awang, 71. Fandi Othman, 62. Faizal Arif
Johor Darul Ta’zim: Bérgson da Silva (17′, 88′ PEN)
Sri Pahang: Hasnul Zaim Zafri (38′), Manuel Hidalgo (42′ PEN)