PETALING JAYA: Seven-time Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) signed off in style with another unbeaten run after thrashing Melaka 5-0.
The Southern Tigers came alive in the final 20 minutes of the game with goals from Leandro Velazquez (70th minute), Syafiq Ahmad (75th), Aidil Zafuan Razak (79th), Fernando Rodriguez (84th) and Gonzalo Cabrera (90th) at the Hang Jebat Stadium on Saturday.
The club side, who sealed their title after beating Sabah 4-1 last week, also ended their 2017 season unbeaten.
JDT coach Benjamin Mora was glad to end the season with 29 points from 11 matches and attributed their win to the team’s strong resolve.
“The first half wasn’t easy. Melaka were in good shape, they defended well in their half and waited to launch counter-attacks with their fast players, ” said Mora.
“When you are a champion you have nothing to fight for but we wanted to create history. We were patient and composed and the results came. The players did a good job.”
The comfortable win also showed that JDT didn’t feel the absence of their prized attacker Safawi Rasid, who left the team last week to join Portuguese club Portimonense on a one-year stint.
In fact, two youngsters Ramadhan Saifullah and Arif Aiman Hanapi, stepped up in his absence.
Ramadhan, touted as Safawi’s replacement, made his seventh appearance this season while Arif made his debut from the bench.
“Ramadhan and Arif are good players but Safawi is a special. I miss him and I wish him the best but we handled the situation well without him, ” said Mora.