JDT AFC Cup player ratings: Visiting Persija no match for Malaysian champions
Ahmad Hazwan Bakri opened the scoring with a tap-in after 29 minutes to get the proceedings underway in Johor Bahru.
The 2015 winners never looked like losing as they kept Persija pegged back for most parts of the first half. Jorge Pereyra Diaz beat the offside trap and rounded custodian Andritany Ardhiyasa for the Southern Tigers’s second of the night in the 41st minute.
Persija looked better in the second half but JDT never looked in real danger of losing the match. Substitute Safawi Rasid got JDT’s third to put the icing on the cake in the 75th minute.
FARIZAL MARLIAS: 7
The custodian made his first start since serving an eight-month ban for abusing match officials in the tournament last year. He had an easy night and was barely tested.
AZRIF NASRULHAQ: 7
The right-back didn’t venture forward much but when he did, Azrif provided a good option. It was him who squared the ball for Hazwan’s opening goal of the night.
FADHLI SHAS: 8
The centre-back kept a cool head at the back to thwart attacking threats as Persija focused on playing the ball to seasoned Bambang Pamungkas. Fadhli distributed the ball well and was also a threat at the other end from set-pieces. His header hit the crossbar after just three minutes.
HARISS HARUN: 7.5
Slotting in alongside Fadhli instead of playing in his natural holding midfield role, Hariss showed that he could be a good option to replace Marcos Antonio at the back. The Singapore captain barely put a foot a wrong, but a blotched backpass after miscommunication with his 'keeper almost allowed Bambang to get a goal for Persija.
LA’VERE CORBIN-ONG: 8
JDT attacked more on the left and it was simply because of the chemistry Corbin-Ong had with Diaz. This left-back tore up the flank for JDT and gave the Indonesian club plenty of problems.
AFIQ FAZAIL: 7
Afiq sat in the holding role, giving his defence and midfield assurance that he was there to protect them. He also sprayed the ball well to the forwards when needed to.
NATXO INSA: 7.5
The central-midfielder’s influence on the pitch was reduced compared to his early days at the club and he had a slow start on Wednesday. Yet Insa got better as the match progressed and played a well-timed ball over the defence to set Diaz free for JDT’s second of the night.
SAFIQ RAHIM: 8.5
The skipper had an excellent night and he looked raring to go from the very first minute. Safiq got involved in plenty of moves, pressed opponents to win the ball and looked like he was dictating play, especially in the first half.