The game televised over ASTRO Arena saw Guy Bwele strapping the captain’s arm band in light of Hairol’s absence. Johor FC paraded their new import Arthuro Bernhardt as he lead countless attacks on the jittery Sarawak backline in the opening minutes. Hairol’s absence at the back showed as Johor FC was allowed to move freely with Sani Anuar guilty of poor handling.
The jittery Sarawak was rudely awaken in the 21st minute after Arthuro Bernhardt shot a curling free kick to put Johor FC ahead by a goal. The goal signalled a huge change in the game as Johor FC found themselves defending to the more aggressive Sarawak.
In the 28th minute, Sharan Abdul Samad almost equalized for Sarawak, but he instead ballooned the pass from Guy Bwele. Sarawak continued to push for the equalizer, soon foundthemselves awarded a free kick from outside the box. Guy Bwele came forward to take the kick, and his direct shot on goal levelled the scoreline.
Unsatisfied with the equalizer, Sarawak pushed harder to grab the lead before half time. Muratovic almost had his share of glory after he skillfully dibbled past three defenders, but lost composure before he reached the box. A quick counter attack by Johor FC also saw them have a goal disallowed for an obvious offside.
Sarawak almost doubled the scoreline after Zamri Morshidi and Muratovic exchanged passes, but Muratovic was pulled down before he had a chance to strike the ball with power. The free kick that followed gave Sarawak nothing.
The breather saw Robert Alberts substituting K Rajan for Ashri Chuchu. The move was similar to Sarawak’s game with KL Felda United last Saturday, and the impact was equally similar as Sarawak started to dominate the game particularly the midfield. Sarawak showed Johor FC they are a force to be reaconed as they dictated play, forcing Johor FC to defend more ofthen than they could attack.
However, in the 55th minute, a quick counter attack by Johor FC caught the Sarawakian defenders off guard, but the goal produced was ruled out for a foul inside the box. Despite dominating the midfield, Sarawak’s strike force consisting of Muratovic and Zamri Morshidi failed to penetrate the Johor defence which was lead by Brazilian Fernando Abreu Ferreira.
To improve conditions, Robert Alberts brought in Ravindran for Zamri Morshidi. Ravindran dazzled the fans with his good ball control and almost found the back of the net in the 64th minute. His shot however went straight to the goalkeeper. Johor FC replied with a counter attack, but Sani Anuar was up to the task. Minutes later, Guy Bwele blazed a shot on Johor FC’s goalmouth, but Zamir Selamat pushed it out for a fruitless corner.
In the 74th minute, Sarawak earned yeat another corner which was taken by Ashri Chuchu. Azizan Baba rushed to the high ball, and headed in Sarawak’s second goal to put Sarawak up by one goal. The goal saw Sarawak shift Ashri Chuchu to the right, making him a true menace to the Johor FC’s defence. Nonetheless, Sarawak’s attacking rhythm slowed down in the dying minutes, giving Johor FC some room to attack.
Sarawak however stood firm to hold the scoreline, hence moving them up to eighth in the league.
Robert Alberts praised the local players in his post-match comments, but stated that Muratovic needs to play better in coming games. He further commented that he is pleased with the win, but the game was poor.
Final Score: Johor FC 1 – 2 Sarawak.
Any comments on the performance of the team?