Johor Darul Ta’zim ended their pre-season tour in Dubai with a defeat Zenit Saint Petersburg, champions of Russian Premier League with a score 0-3 at the Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai.
In this match, JDT fielded almost the same line-up as against Lokomotiv Moscow. Only two changes were made by including Diogo Luis Santo in the attack and Farizal Marlias to replace Syihan Hazmi in the goalkeeper position.
However, FC Zenit first scored the opening goal as early as the 10th minute through Rodrigao’s shot after receiving a cross from Danil Krugovoy.
5 minutes later, former Brazil U-23 player Malcom added the second goal for Zenit when his curling shot in the penalty area easily beat Farizal Marlias.
JDT tried to get up but they found it difficult to break through Zenit’s defense who acted with enough discipline and had an advantage in terms of physicality.
In the 31st minute, Zenit got the third goal through Daniela Kozlov who was not controlled and finished off a beautiful cross from the left side in a chaotic situation.
JDT’s best chance came in the 32nd minute but Matthew Davies’ cross failed to be used by Diogo Luis Santo. The result remained 3-0 until the end of the first half.
The second half saw JDT make a change of players by removing Farizal Marlias, Diogo Luis Santo and Fernando Forestieri. Their place was replaced by Syihan Hazmi, Syafiq Ahmad and Syahmi Safari.
However, the game did not prevent FC Zenit from continuing to double the effort. In fact, JDT also had the opportunity to score the first goal through a penalty kick but it failed to be completed by Safiq Rahim in the 86th minute.
Not many dangerous attempts were made by the South Tigers squad but they performed better in the second half. The 3-0 result remained until the end of the match.
Overall, JDT finished the pre-season training camp in Dubai with 3 wins and 2 losses thus achieving their objective of improving the fitness level of the players.
The Harimau Selatan squad will return home to make final preparations before starting the Malaysia League 2023 campaign to meet the 2022 Super League runner-up, Terengganu FC for the Sumbangsih Cup action which will be counted as the first Super League action for both teams.
Credit Photo : JST