Analysis

This win is for you Fernando Marquez

Luciano Figueroa paid tribute to his bloodied striker Fernando Marquez as Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) eased into the Malaysia Cup quarterfinals courtesy of a 3-0 victory against MIFA in Group on Sunday.

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“We dedicate this win to him (Marquez). I would like to congratulate him for his commitment on the pitch as he always gives 120 percent when he plays,” Figueroa told FOX Sports Malaysia.

Marquez is down with a suspected broken nose after clashing with MIFA goalkeeper Muhaimin Mohamad as both men battled in the air in the second half.

The Argentina striker was eventually rushed to the hospital, where he is receiving treatment.

Marquez’s injury seem to wake up JDT, who were struggling to make any inroads against the club side at Shah Alam Stadium.

The foul on the striker led to a penalty for JDT, which Gonzalo Cabrera buried.

Safawi Rasid then added a brace to confirm victory and sent the Southern Tigers through as group champions.

The head coach dismissed any talks of JDT’s waning seemingly waning prowess.

“Two matches ago JDT seemed to be a struggling team, but we ended the group stage in first place. Anytyhing can happen in football.”

Figueroa will next take his side to face Pahang FA in a two-legged quarterfinals.

“The Pahang match is like a derby. But we are ready and we will come out fighting. For now, my players will need to take a much deserved rest.”

MIFA head coach K. Devan was understandably upset after seeing his team crash out in the dying stages.

A loss would have still taken them through, but Kelantan FA’s last minute goal against Kedah meant the club side were eliminated.

“Of course I am upset, but we didn’t do enough in the match. Congratulations to JDT and Kelantan who are through,” said Devan.

The other quarterfinals will see Terengganu FA face Felda United FC, PKNS FC take on Perak FA will Sabah FA will face Kelantan.