JDT, Persipura maintain perfect starts to 2015 AFC Cup

Johor Darul Ta’zim recorded their second straight win in the 2015 AFC Cup on Tuesday after snatching a last-gasp 1-0 victory over Balestier Khalsa in Group F.

It initially looked as though a draw was on the cards at the Jalan Besar Stadium as a stubborn Balestier outfit were able to keep their opponents at bay throughout the 90 minutes.

The visitors did find the back of the net twice through efforts from Safee Sali and Amri Yahyah but, on both occasions, the goals were correctly disallowed for offside.

Nonetheless, in the third minute of injury-time, JDT went on to grab the win when Hariss Harun received possession from Safiq Rahim and played an incisive pass to the overlapping Asraruddin Putra Omar, who managed to squeeze a low shot past Zaiful Nizam and into the back of the net.

The result leaves Harimau Selatan top of their group on six points, two ahead of Hong Kong outfit Kitchee, who were held to a 1-1 draw by India’s East Bengal at the Salt Lake Stadium.

Kitchee had taken the lead on the half-hour mark through a Juan Belencoso strike, but Ranti Martins equalised in the 74th minute to earn the hosts a share of the spoils.

Over in Group E, Persipura Jayapura of Indonesia also maintained their 100 per cent record so far this season as they defeated Indian side Bengaluru 3-1 at the Mandala Stadium.

It took the hosts just four minutes to break the deadlock through Ian Kabes’ opener, before Robertino Pugliara doubled their advantage in the 23rd minute.

Pugliara then struck again eight minutes into the second half to put the result beyond doubt, although C.K. Vineeth did grab a consolation for Bengaluru in injury-time.

The other Group E game saw S.League champions Warriors FC fall to a second straight defeat in the competition after being beaten 2-0 by Maldives’ Maziya.

Following a goalless first half at the National Football Stadium, Assadhulla Abdulla pounced on a poor clearance from Marin Vidosevic and fired past Neezam Aziz to hand the hosts the lead in the 47th minute.

And two minutes from time, the win was sealed by Pablo Rodriguez as he turned home a Hussain Niyaz cross to make it 2-0 to Maziya end any hopes the Warriors had of forcing a draw.

Tuesday’s 2015 AFC Cup Results

Group E

Persipura Jayapura 3-1 Bengaluru

Maziya 2-0 Warriors FC

Group F

Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Johor Darul Ta’zim

East Bengal 1-1 Kitchee

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