Southeast Asia Malaysia

7th Heaven for JDT as Tigers Clinch 7th Straight Liga Super Title

The inevitable has finally happened and the party can finally start. Johor Darul Ta’zim have won their seventh straight Liga Super Malaysia title after confidently dispatching strugglers Sabah FA 4-1 at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium on Friday night. JDT must win their Matchweek 10 encounter with Sabah to confirm yet another Liga Super title for their ever-expanding trophy cabinet and Benjamin Mora’s charges did exactly that, never looking troubled throughout the whole 90 minutes as Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto’s Tembedau were easily dispatched.

In fact, JDT’s Matchweek 9 draw with Petaling Jaya City only serve to build up more hype for the inevitable title celebrations as they were able to lift the Liga Super trophy at the comforts of their brand new Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri – and there’s no better feeling like clinching the league title at your very own backyard.

Former Buriram United striker Diogo kicked-off the party in the 38th minute with a first-time finish past Sabah goalie Rozaimie Rohim, taking advantage of a wonderful assist from Afiq Fazail. Safawi Rasid then doubled the Southern Tigers’ lead in the 56th minute with an amazing chip from outside the Sabah penalty box that left Rozaimie stunned.

Sabah’s Thai-German midfielder Dennis Buschening managed to slash the deficit by half after scoring his fourth goal in three matches – a curling shot in the 74th minute that was unable to be saved by JDT goalkeeper Farizal Marlias. However, JDT sealed up the three points and the 2020 Liga Super title with a salvo of two goals in the closing 10 minutes of the match – Safawi bagging his brace in the 80th minute after some excellent teamwork with rising star Ramadhan Saifullah, before Leandro Velazquez slammed home the final nail in Sabah’s coffin in the 84th minute with a beautifully-taken free-kick. 4-1 JDT and the celebrations erupted once the referee blew for full-time.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic meant that the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium was mostly vacant for JDT’s coronation as Liga Super kings, however the festive mood was not dampened at all as both Benjamin and captain Hariss Harun lifted the Liga Super trophy at the empty venue, illuminated in JDT’s colors of red-and-blue and with fireworks bursting out of the stadium as the JDT players celebrated yet another silverware to their name.

Meanwhile, Friday’s other Liga Super action saw UiTM FC hosting PJ City in another edition of the Selangor Derby at the UiTM Stadium in Shah Alam. University side UiTM are looking for a win to keep their continental dreams alive – something unfathomable at the start of the season – while struggling PJ City are looking for all three points to keep their survival chances alive. And all three points is exactly what PJ City got – former PTT Rayong captain Anawin Jujeen was among the goalscorers as K. Devan’s Phoenixes romped to a 4-2 win over UiTM. The three points meant that PJ City are now eighth in the Liga Super table with only one more match to go, while 4th placed UiTM were at risk of being overtaken by teams below them in a very, very tight top half.

Matchweek 10 continues on Saturday with Pahang FA clashing with Perak FA at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan, FELDA United taking on Terengganu FC at the Tun Abdul Razak Stadium in Jengka, and Selangor FA making that short trip to Kuala Lumpur to take on already-relegated PDRM FA at the KLFA Stadium.