PETALING JAYA: Champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) exacted revenge in style as they downed PKNS 3-1 in the Super League clash.
The wounded Southern Tigers, who were dumped 1-0 by PKNS in the FA Cup third round on Wednesday, bounced back three days later to notch the comfortable win at Larkin Stadium.
The hosts had a roaring start when they opened accounts through Afiq Fazail in the eighth minute. Six minutes later, Gonzalo Cabrerra converted a spot-kick.
PKNS managed to reduce the deficit in the 48th minute through Gabriel Guerra but Safawi Rasid sealed the win in the 85th minute.
JDT manager Luciano Figueroa said he’s glad to see them back to winning ways.
“We always try to score as many goals as possible and sometimes we’re unsuccessful. We’re very happy to get our revenge and earn three important points. I must congratulate the players,” said the former Argentine international.
“We worked hard after our Cup loss to them but at times, we were unsuccessful in executing set-pieces well.
“This is one of the things we need to improve on. The players had a good first half, but their performance declined a bit after the breather and we let PKNS score.
“Diogo (Santo) had many chances but was unlucky.
“I was a striker, so I know how he feels. But this is football, you have to keep on trying and the goals will come eventually.”
JDT top the 12-team table with 26 points while PKNS are fifth with 12 points after 10 matches.
PKNS coach Datuk K. Rajagopal said he had no complaints despite the defeat.
“I think they played well. We’ll now move on and prepare for our match against Kuala Lumpur,” said the former national team coach.
“We didn’t lack much in this game ... I think we did better compared to the FA Cup. Our game was affected because we conceded early goals.
“We tried to get back into the game and were getting closer to the equaliser but their late goal killed us.”
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