SHAH ALAM – Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) clinched their second title this season when they defeated PKNS FC in the final of the FA Cup at the Shah Alam Stadium here Saturday night.
JDT had clinched the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Cup when they beat last season’s Malaysia Cup champions Selangor 7-6 in a penalty shootout in the Charity Shield match at the Tan Sri Hassan Yunos Stadium, Larkin on Feb 13.
The win by the Southern Tigers was a repeat of the feat achieved by Johor FA (now known as JDT II) who won the FA Cup in 1998.
It erased their disappointment of losing 0-1 to Kelantan in the 2013 FA Cup final at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.
In tonight’s action, PKNS FC took the lead as early as the sixth minute when Gabriel Miguel Guerra converted a penalty after being felled in the box.
JDT captain Safiq Rahim succeeded in finding the equaliser in the 16th minute via a penalty kick after Jorge Pereyra Diaz was brought down in the penalty box by PKNS FC goalkeeper, G. Jeevanathan.
Diaz then doubled JDT’s score in the 35th minute after taking advantage of a chaotic situation in the PKNS FC goalmouth and the 2-1 result stayed until the first half ended.
The heavy rain in the early part of the second half did not affect JDT’s rhythm who continued wiht relentless attacks into the PKNS FC fort but failed to add to the score due to the prowess of Jeevanathan.
PKNS FC Argentinian import striker Juan Manuel Corbelli almost equalised in the 85th minute but his attempt from outside the penalty box passed to the right of the JDT goalmouth.
The 2-1 result stayed until the final whistle by referee Syed Azhar Syed Kamar.
The victory was made all the more sweeter when Diaz was also named Man-of-the Match.
As champions, JDT took home the FA Cup which was handed over by Tunku Mahkota of Johor-cum-JDT owner, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim to Safiq.
Also present to witness the final were Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and State Secretary-cum-Johor Football Association president Datuk Ismail Karim.