Debutant S. Chanturu came off the bench to score the winning goal against Bengaluru FC and secure Johor Darul Ta’zim’s passage to the next qualifying round of the 2015 AFC Champions League.
Following an uninspiring first-half by both teams, with the best chance falling to the I-League champions when John Johnson hit the post from a corner, Bojan Hodak's men took the lead less than two minutes after the restart through Hariss Harun.
Nazrin Nawi delivered an inch-perfect corner to the Singapore international, who was unmarked and headed past the Bengaluru goalkeeper.
Just when it seemed the game had opened up somewhat following the goal, a collision between Fadhli Shas and Johnson slowed down the pace of the match as both players received treatment.
After the English defender returned to the pitch, the Indian side looked more threatening than the home side as they knocked on the crosses and through-balls but were woeful with their finishing, including hitting the post again in the 88th minute.
With barely a minute remaining, Bengaluru finally found the equaliser when Eugeneson Lyngdoh scored directly from a corner, which Safiq Rahim failed to clear off the line.
JDT winger Jorge Pereyra Diaz, who had been largely ineffective after coming on at half-time, had two great opportunities to win the game for his side in injury time, but he squandered them.
With the match going into extra time, Chanturu came on for makeshift winger Mahali Jasuli and immediately made an impact.
In the 97th minute, Diaz played a ground cross into Bengaluru’s penalty box, which was slightly behind Safiq but was perfectly placed for the former Sarawak star to slot it home and make it 2-1 for the Malaysian Super League champions.
Chanturu could’ve easily scored his second of the night as well when he intercepted the Bengaluru goalkeeper’s clearance in the 119th minute of the match, but he could only muster a tame effort at goal.
Thankfully for him, he was not made to pay for it as his side hung on for the win.
JDT will now go to Thailand to take on Bangkok Glass for the second qualifying round on February 10th.
(Picture: Fadzil Daud/asiana.my)comments