Johor Darul Ta’azim (JDT) kicked off the second half of the Malaysia Super League (MSL) season in fashion after humiliating Kedah 5-0 at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Bahru tonight.
The foreign likes of Hariss Harun, Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Juan Martin Lucero and Marcos Antonio impressed for Mario Gomez’s side, but it was a local player that stole the show down south.
The Southern Tigers captain Safiq Rahim, who recently announced his retirement from international football due to Football Association of Malaysia’s (FAM) poor ways of handling the national team and Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership’s interest in only profit, shined so bright tonight and earned himself FourthOfficial.com’s Man of the Match plaudit.
Safiq Rahim started his first game after returning from a thigh injury, that he suffered against PKNS in the FA Cup final in Monday, and stood the tallest amongst his big-name teammates. He reduced the burden for his team when he opened the scoring with a header on the 27th minute, before adding his second goal of the night four minutes before the half-time whistle.
The 29 year-old dictated the tempo of play in midfield and was assisted efficiently by Singaporean international Hariss Harun as well as the support of both his strikers. He also played provider for Pereyra Diaz after assisting him from the corner on the 81st minute.
Johor Darul Ta’azim will need him to stay fit in order to retain the league title this season.