South Tigers must be wary of Gomis, the Panther


PETALING JAYA: Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) have to watch out for former French international Bafetimbi Gomis (pic) when the Southern Tigers clash against Kawasaki Frontale in their opening Group I match of the AFC Champions League.

Gomis is the Japanese club’s key signing this season and will make his continental debut at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri tomorrow.

The 38-year-old has played 766 matches in his professional career, scoring 355 goals since making his debut in 2004.

He has played 12 times for his nation and scored three goals.

Before joining Kawasaki on Aug 8, Gomis, known for his panther prowl celebration, played for Turkish club Galatasaray.

In Asia, he made his name for Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal, scoring 116 goals in 154 matches in all competitions.

Besides these clubs, he had also played for sides like French clubs Saint Etienne, Troyes Olympique Lyon and Olympique Marseille and Welsh club Swansea City.

Gomis made his debut for Kawasaki last Friday when he played for 64 minutes against FC Tokyo in the J-League.

The win was significant as he helped them end a five-match winless run in all competitions.

Gomis said he needed a few more games to reach his usual level of performance.

“It was nice to make my debut infront of the home fans. A win in the first game is good but I need to improve my fitness,” he said on the club’s website.

Besides Gomis, the other strikers capable of causing problems for JDT are Brazilians Marcinho and Leandro Damiao.

JDT faced Kawasaki twice last year in the Champions League but couldn’t dethrone them as they were held to a draw 0-0 (April 21, 2022) and lost 0-5 (April 24, 2022).

They will have to find ways to stop Gomis and Co in a bid to lift their profile in Asia.

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