Hazwan Bakri’s stock in Johor looks set to continue rising after he showed excellent class and composure to inspire Johor Darul Ta’azim to a 3-2 win over arch rivals Pahang.
The former Selangor man bagged two goals in the first half and played a crucial role as the Southern Tigers clinched a morale-boosting win that moves them into third spot on the league table.
Benjamin Mora opted to retain the same starting eleven that comfortably outclassed Sarawak in midweek, with Safiq Rahim partnering Nazmi Faiz in midfield while Gaby Guerra, Gonzalo Cabrera and Hazwan Bakri spearheading their attack.
But within eight minutes into the game, the decision was already being questioned as Pahang broke the deadlock through Matheus Alves, having dominated the early tempo of the game.
JDT eventually restored parity midway through the first half as Hazwan Bakri showed great awareness to find the back of the net via a rebound, after Safiq Rahim’s spot-kick was initially saved by Wan Azraei. The Malaysian international then netted his second goal of the night merely six minutes later, courtesy of a blockbuster effort from the near post.
10 minutes into the second half, JDT made it 3-1. Kunanlan’s pace allowed him to breakaway from Pahang defenders and find space on the right before he sliced a cutback for Safiq Rahim, who made no mistakes by slotting home to increase JDT’s advantage.
Pahang fought valiantly to reduce the deficit and they were finally rewarded on the 66th minute as he astutely converted a free-kick and found the back of the net to make it 3-2.
And while fans expected Pahang to pile on the pressure in the last 20 minutes or so, JDT eventually did enough to hold on and secure a win that effectively propels them to third spot on the MSL table.
More to come…