AFC Cup Review: Last-gasp JDT deny Balestier as weakened Warriors defeated
Balestier Khalsa came close to a first AFC Cup point, but were denied by an Asraruddin Putra Omar goal at the death while Warriors FC fell to a 2-0 loss in the Maldives.
Balestier Khalsa 0 Johor Darul Ta'zim 1
It was an all-Malaysian lineup that took to the field for JDT, as the visitors started the game without any of their foreign imports.
Balestier goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam still had to be on his toes to though, with an impressive 22nd minute tip on to the crossbar after Amri Yahyah's header the pick of his saves.
The hosts were keen to soak up pressure and hit on the counter, with Fadhil Noh just unable to capitalise in front of the JDT goal on two occasions.
JDT thought they had won the game four minutes from time after Amri found the net but it was ruled offside.
Just when the match looked to end in a draw, a quick free kick taken by JDT in the 92nd minute found substitute Hariss Harun and the Singaporean midfielder released an overlapping Asraruddin to score the goal that broke Balestier hearts.
Maziya S&RC 2 Warriors FC 0
A Warriors FC side missing key players in Irwan Shah, Daniel Bennett and Thomas Beattie fell to a 2-0 loss at the Male National Stadium in Maldives.
In-form striker Nicolas Velez looked threatening as the Warriors took the early initiative, but they were unable to conjure up a goal under searing temperatures.
The sapping 44 degrees heat was taking its toll on the players, with the match stopped at intervals for water breaks.
Maziya took the lead after the halftime, with captain Asadhulla Abdulla taking advantage of a poor Marin Vidosevic clearance and beating goalkeeper Neezam Aziz for the opener.
The Warriors were visibly struggling in the heat at this point, worn down by their earlier exertions and unable to find a way back into the game.
Spanish striker Pablo Rodriguez sealed their fate two minutes from time, firing home from close range to secure all three points.