Malaysia Super League giants Johor Darul Ta’zim moved top of Group F in the AFC Cup on Tuesday after recording a 2-0 win over Hong Kong’s Kitchee at the Larkin Stadium.
Luciano Figueroa got Harimau Selatan on their way when he opened the scoring in the 18th minute, before Safiq Rahim made sure of the result when he converted from the penalty spot a minute before halftime, after S. Chanturu had been brought down inside the area.
The result ensured JDT exacted revenge on their opponents after being beaten by the same scoreline in their previous encounter in Hong Kong last month, and was enough to hand them a two-point lead at the top of the table.
In Group F’s other game, Indian outfit East Bengal claimed their first win of the campaign after cruising to a 3-0 triumph over Balestier Khalsa of Singapore at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Baldeep Singh broke the deadlock for the hosts when he headed home a corner in the 22nd minute, before they doubled their advantage in the 71st minute through a Nurullah Hussein own-goal.
And four minutes later, the contest was effectively ended when Ranti Martins kept his cool to score with a close-range finish for East Bengal’s third goal of the evening.
Over in Group E, Indonesia Super League giants Persipura Jayapura’s perfect record of three straight wins came to an end as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Maldives’ Maziya at the Mandala Stadium.
Bengaluru took a step close to qualification as they moved five points clear in second place in the group with a 1-0 win over S.League champions Warriors FC, which was also enough to end their opponents’ hopes of advancing to the knockout round.
Following a goalless first half at the Jalan Besar Stadium, the winner arrived in the 76th minute when Robin Singh did well to twist his way free on the edge of the box before finding the bottom corner with a perfectly-placed left-footed shot.
Tuesday’s AFC Cup Results
Persipura Jayapura 0-0 Maziya
Warriors FC 0-1 Bengaluru
East Bengal 3-0 Balestier Khalsa
Johor Darul Ta’zim 2-0 Kitchee