JDT down Kedah despite playing with 10 men

Aerial tussle: Kedah’s Ronald Ngah (right) and JDT’s Shane Lowry battle for the ball during their Super League match at the Darul Aman Stadium. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Despite playing with 10 men, Johor Darul Ta’zim showed why they were worthy champions after beating Kedah 3-1 in the Super League game at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar yesterday.

The Southern Tigers, who sealed their ninth consecutive title last weekend, saw top goal scorer Bergson Da Silva red-carded in the 45th minute after scoring the equaliser nine minutes before he was sent off. The Brazilian took a swipe at Kedah defender Rodney Celvin Akwensivie’s head during a 50-50 challenge.

But that did not deter JDT as they played with hunger and determination in the second-half, with goals from playmaker Leandro Velasquez via a penalty in the 60th minute and midfielder Afiq Fazail in the 79th minute.

Kedah drew first blood in the game through striker Ronald Ngah in the 13th minute.

JDT coach Hector Bidoglio was delighted with the way his boys fought back from 0-1 down.

“First of all, we’ve to praise the commitment, determination and passion showed by our boys to win the game,” said the Venezuelan.

“They played possession football, showed great mental strength and intelligence on and off the ball. We showed why we were champions of the league and the best club in Malaysia.

“Not sure the penalty changed the game but from the time we played 10 versus 11, we played like we wanted to win the game. On the field, it is evident that JDT wanted to win the game.”

When asked about Da Silva’s action, he said he would review it.

“Bergson is a player that plays big games for us. But it happens. We have to check and review what he did.

“It was a heated situation, but he didn’t agree with the red. Everybody was fighting with high intensity, so we must see what he did and review it.”

Da Silva did apologise for his action on social media by saying, “Sorry for my big mistake. Thanks for the win! And what a team.”

Meanwhile, Kedah coach Aidil Sharin felt the penalty in the 60th minute changed the game for Kedah.

“Without the penalty, things would have been different. I wanted to soak in the pressure for 65 minutes and then play an attacking game. Then the penalty came, and we lost momentum. It demoralised the players. The third goal, it was conceded too easily,” said the Singaporean.

“Effort and commitment-wise, my boys gave everything against a big team. They have to learn. I cannot blame the young players. They are here to learn and get better. We have to accept it, we lost to a better team. We will bounce back in the next game.”

JDT remain unbeaten in the league with 49 points from 19 games, while Kedah are sixth with 27 points.

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