MalaysiaN Super League title-holders Johor Darul Ta’zim once again asserted their superiority over Boeung Ket Angkor in their AFC Cup Group F encounter, beating the Cambodian league champions 3-0 at the Olympic Stadium yesterday evening to follow up on their home triumph by the same margin back in February.
The victory bolstered Johor’s chances of catching up with group leaders Global FC of the Philippines, who maintained their steady form with a from-behind 4-2 away win over Magwe FC of Myanmar earlier in the day.
The Malaysian side trail Global by two points in the fight to reach the zonal semifinals from the group.
Boeung Ket paid a heavy price for sloppy defensive work, including that of keeper Sou Yaty, who twice charged out more with courage than conviction within the first 30 minutes and ended up presenting open goals.
Though Yaty saved a penalty moments before the break, the weight of the Johor lead gradually dragged the Cambodian side down, leading to a late goal in the second session that made the scoreline look rather more impressive than the Blue Dragon deserved.
Misfortune struck Boeung Ket early on when Safawi Rasid worked his way into the box and side-stepped an onrushing Yaty to open the scoring.
Yaty was again out of position when his attempt to clear the ball away resulted in Nazmi Faiz cleverly playing it over the heads of two defenders into an open goal.
When Sovanarithy clumsily tackled Azamuddin and brought him down to concede a penalty, Boeung Ket were looking in trouble. But Sou Yaty dived to his right to divert the ball away for a corner.
There was change in Boeung Ket’s approach in the second session as they not only kept Johor quiet but also created a few flutters of their own.
Khoun Laboravy, Tomoki Muramutsu and Maycon Maycon Calijuri all had chances without success.
But moments away from the end, Johor’s Argentine import Gabriel Guerra signed off in style with the side’s third.