Bright Malaysia Cup start for Diogo earns Mora's' praise

The lack of fans present at Larkin yesterday for the Malaysia Cup opener did not throw a spanner in the works for reigning Super League champions JDT as goals from Diogo Luis Santo (16', 85') and Safawi Rasid (65') gave them all three points to share top spot with Terengganu FC after the end of Match Day 1.

Two headers from Diogo and the penalty from Safawi showed that JDT meant business in this competition in front of only 5,860 fans in attendance, although a late Zarko Korac goal in stoppage denied the home side the chance to keep a clean sheet.

Head coach Benjamin Mora knew that it was important for his team to start the competition on a positive note and was estatic to see his team return to winning ways at their home ground after three matches but still saw plenty of room for improvement.

"We are not 100% satisfied because I know JDT can do better in all the situations. This is a good Premier League team but still a Premier League team, so we are supposed to control most of the actions. We had some days off and some players maybe not in their best rhythm since they came back. But the good thing is that we got the three points and it was important to come back to a victory at home.

Diogo Luis Santo, Safawi Rasid, Johor Darul Ta'zim v UiTM FC, Malaysia Cup, 2 Aug 2019

"This is why we have Diogo, to score goals. Diogo is a very good striker, very intelligent. He knows where to be on the pitch, when to appear and when to disappear. For me and for the team, it was very good that he came back to score two very good goals in this beginning of the Malaysia Cup because I know it will be a good Malaysia Cup for him," said Mora in the post-match press conference.

Leandro Velazquez was the one chosen to sit out of the starting line-up as rules dictated that a Super League side can only field four import players when facing a Premier League side with Nazmi Faiz coming in for another chance to show what he can do.

Another player who got a run out was goalkeeper Izham Tarmizi, who had some shaky moments in the game particularly with his handling of the ball. Izham also faced a difficult moment in the second half when Park Young-jun rounded him but Mauricio dos Santos came to his rescue to clear the ball from danger.

JDT will next take on Petaling Jaya City FC on August 5, which gives them a chance to exact revenge over the only team to beat them in the Super League this season.


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