Group G - MD3: Johor Darul Ta'zim (MAS) 2-1 Suwon Samsung Bluewings (KOR)
Iskandar Puteri: A late goal from defender Mauricio sealed all three points for Johor Darul Ta’zim on Tuesday as the Malaysian champions notched up a 2-1 win over Suwon Samsung Bluewings in their first-ever AFC Champions League clash at the new Sultan Ibrahim Stadium.
The Brazilian’s header 17 minutes from time secured all three points for JDT in the Group G meeting after Gonzalo Cabrera had seen his first-half penalty for the home side cancelled out by Terry Antonis’ long range strike six minutes into the second half.
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Both sides had lost at the hands of Vissel Kobe in their first involvement in the competition last month, with Suwon falling to an agonisingly late goal on home soil after JDT had been handed a 5-1 defeat in Japan.
But JDT gave early notice of their intention to make amends in front of their own fans, with Safawi Rashid denied with four minutes on the clock when his tame shot was saved by No Dong-geon after the Malaysia international was released following a long ball from deep.
FULL-TIME | 🇲🇾 @OfficialJohor 2-1 @bluewingsfc 🇰🇷— #ACL2020 (@TheAFCCL) March 3, 2020
👏 JDT mark their first-ever #ACL game at Sultan Ibrahim Stadium with a victory. 🇧🇷 Mauricio headed home the winner as the hosts pick up their 1⃣st win in Group G of #ACL2020. #JDTvSUW pic.twitter.com/qZhMA2DOCU
By the 13th minute, however, JDT were in front. Nazmi Faiz’s perfectly weighted ball from inside the centre circle released Diogo behind the Suwon defence and, as he shaped to shoot, Min Sang-gi brought the former Buriram United man down. Referee Alireza Faghani pointed to the spot and Cabrera converted confidently.
The home side’s lead should only have lasted two minutes, but Adam Taggart squandered a golden opportunity when he skied his attempt over the bar from inside the area when he had time and space to pick his spot.
Indeed, Suwon struggled in front of goal throughout the opening 45 minutes. Kim Gun-hee had headed wide two minutes into the game while the striker had another view of goal 11 minutes before the break, firing across the target from outside the area.
Six minutes into the second half, Lee Lim-saeng’s side were level. JDT’s midfield allowed substitute Antonis time to curl his shot from well outside the area into the top corner of Farizal Marlias’ goal and the Australian gleeful accepted the offer.
But the home side were far from done and, with 17 minutes remaining, Mauricio put JDT back in front when he held off Suwon defender Lee Jong-sung in his battle to meet Nazmi’s cross from the left, the Brazilian heading home.
Diogo could have doubled his side’s lead 10 minutes from time, only to shoot across the face of goal, but that miss was not enough to deny JDT another famous AFC Champions League victory.
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