Johor Darul Ta’azim (JDT) went above FELDA United in the Malaysia Super League (MSL) standings after a thrashing 6-0 win over Pahang at the Darul Makmur Stadium tonight.
The Elephants head coach Razip Ismail made two changes to the starting line-up from the reverse fixture at the Larkin Stadium on Wednesday as the ex-Harimau Muda boss replaced Salomon Raj and Helmi Abdullah with Rizua Shafiqi and German Pacheco. The Southern Tigers head coach Mario Gomez completely reshuffled his team as Safiq Rahim, Farizal Marlias, Hariss Harun, Azinee Taib, Azamuddin Akil and S. Kunanlan all made way.
The visitors started the game in pole position with Juan Martin Lucero continuing his fine form to score his fifteenth goal of the season after heading the ball in an open goal. The Argentinian forward was left unmarked in the penalty box after Mahali Jasuli brilliantly dribbled past Shahrizan Salleh and produced a pin-point cross to the the striker’s head.
The ex-Independiente man could have doubled his tally a couple of minutes later but his header, which was drilled in by Amirulhadi Zainal, just hit the underside of the crossbar.
Pahang striker and topscorer Dalibor Volas left the field after suffering an injury from colliding with Izham Tarmidi, which forced Razip Ismail to bring on Faizal Rani on the 22nd minute. Two minutes later, German Pacheco saw his free-kick comfortably saved by Izham Tarmizi.
The Southern Tigers scored the second goal of the match through Jorge Pereyra Diaz on the 29th minute. The club’s topscorer extended his impressive goalscoring tally after Juan Martin Lucero found his Argentinian compatriot, who tapped it in past Nasril Nourdin in goal.
Four minutes later, Johor Darul Ta’azim made it 3-0 after Mahali Jasuli convincingly beat D. Saarvindran on the flank before drilling the ball in the penalty box, which was deflected off Juan Martin Lucero and Marcos Antonio was there to blast the ball at the back of the net.
The second half kicked off and The Southern Tigers picked up where they left off in the first half when Juan Martin Lucero scored his fourth brace of the season, which took him to the top of the goalscoring list with ten goals to his name, ahead of Francis Forkey Doe.
On the 55th minute, Jorge Pereyra Diaz silenced The Elephants fans after dribbling past four players and brilliantly lobbing the ball past Nasril Nourdin to score his team’s fifth goal.
The tempo of the game slowed down after the hour mark.
Jorge Pereyra Diaz got his first hat-trick of the season after Juan Martin Lucero headed down Amri Yahyah’s corner and the Carlos Tevez-like player flicked it in the back of the net. He was then substituted by 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup winner Safee Sali on the 77th minute.
The referee blew the final whistle and Mario Gomez’s men went ahead of FELDA United in the league standings after the Jengka-based team dropped points against Penang at home.