It was a night of goals galore for Johor Darul Ta'zim as they opened up a gap at the top of Group B with this 5-0 drubbing of third-place side, PKNP FC. The result meant that JDT will now only need to match PKNP's result in the remaining two rounds of matches and they will be one of the two teams from the group heading into the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Cup.
Mauricio dos Santos got the ball rolling in the 13th minute before Gonzalo Cabrera (30'), Safawi Rasid (36', 62') and Diogo Luis Santo (50') all added to the scoresheet to give three points to the home side at Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium.
JDT's head coach Benjamin Mora was undoubtedly pleased with what he saw throughout the 90 minutes, a marked improvement from what was shown in the reverse fixture where PKNP came back from two goals down to hold JDT to a 2-2 draw in Manjung.
"To begin with, I don't like to compare this game to the other game, it's two different games. We were a little bit in our 60-70% attitude and willingness to win in PKNP but we played well at the start and just couldn't sustain. Today (Friday) is the result of the learning of the last game over there.
"It's the same team, same opponent and also the same starting line-up. Only thing that changed is that we learned. That if we don't give 120% over the 90 minutes, we can have accident. We are looking forward to maintain what we did today. Maintain the focus, concentration and effort that the players did today.
"We controlled most of the actions in the game. Everybody up front had chances to score. It was a good game overall," said Mora in the post-match press conference.
Incredibly, this is the first match from six that JDT has managed to keep a clean sheet. They have the best defensive record in the Super League this season but has struggled to shut out opponents ever since they claimed their sixth successive title, a problem that ran over into this competition.
The international break is coming up but JDT's work isn't done just yet as they will face Nepal on Monday, August 26 in a friendly match. With eight players leaving for the Malaysia training camp, Mora is looking to offer fringe players as well as opportunities for Johor Darul Ta'zim II players to feature against Nepal.
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