FFT’s Five Finds: The Diaz and Lucero Show
South America comes through again for the Southern Tigers
A 1-1 league draw up in Alor Setar was sandwiched by the two legs of the FA Cup semi-final.
After the 2-1 win in Kedah, coach Tan Cheng Hoe told FourFourTwo about the importance of keeping JDT's Argentinian attackers quiet. His team did it at home but couldn't do it at a sold-out Larkin Stadium.
Jorge Pererya Diaz got two and Juan Martin Lucero grabbed the other. Diaz does not just score goals, he makes them too and it was his vision that set up the goal for his compatriot to make it 2-0 on the night.
And when Kedah, a hard-working team that never gives up, scored to make it 3-3 on aggregate, the game was heading for extra time and penalties.
However, with a minute remaining, Diaz struck again.
The talent has always been there but his level of consistency are truly impressive.
After a slow start, Lucero has started to blossom and that is partly thanks to Diaz. If these two, intelligent, mobile and increasingly deadly attackers can stay fit then there is no reason why JDT can't replicate last season's heroics.
With Diaz in such form, the Malaysia Super League Champions can expect to win every game they play.
Jermaine Pennant at the centre of more controversy
Perhaps it is a 'cash-flow' issue, perhaps it is something more serious.
There was more bad news in the shape of a surprising defeat at the hands of Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi of Bangladesh in the AFC Cup group stage in midweek.
At least their domestic form is looking pretty good, with the Mighty Stags winning five of the last six games in the league.
At the weekend came a 4-2 win over the Warriors in which Billy Mehmet and Jermaine Pennant both got on the scoresheet.
But still, the Stags found themselves mired in controversy yet again, after striker Fazrul Nawaz was perceived to be fouled by goalkeeper Yazid Yasin and earned a penalty. Yazid was also sent off.
Warriors coach Jorg Steinebrunner was absolutely furious with the decision to award the spot-kick from which Pennant scored and the decision to send off his goalkeeper.
"I'm going to wait and see what FAS (Football Association of Singapore) is going to do, are the officials going to keep quiet like they always do, or are they going to do something in the name of football.”