Hazwan proves his point

New Straits Times - - Sport -

AH­MAD Hazwan Bakri an­swered ques­tions over his fu­ture role at Darul Ta’zim by scor­ing the win­ner in the club’s 3-2 vic­tory over Ceres Ne­gros in the AFC Cup Asean zone semi-fi­nal first leg at Larkin on Wed­nes­day.

The sign­ing of striker Mo­hammed Ghad­dar from Ke­lan­tan for a re­ported RM2 mil­lion has put Hazwan’s place in the line-up in jeop­ardy but he an­swered in the only way he knows how, with his per­for­mance on the pitch.

Hav­ing been de­nied once in the first half af­ter a spec­tac­u­lar save by Ceres goal­keeper Ron­ald Muller, Hazwan struck in the 68th minute with a heav­ily-de­flected ef­fort to de­ceive Muller.

De­fender Mar­cos An­to­nio San­tos said 2015 AFC Cup win­ners Darul Ta’zim will travel to the Philippines in good heart af­ter re­cov­er­ing from 2-1 down to grab a one-goal ad­van­tage for the sec­ond leg on May 31.

“It was a tough game but it’s very im­por­tant we won to­day,” An­to­nio told Fox Sports af­ter the match. “We con­ceded two goals but in foot­ball any­thing can hap­pen. We go to the Philippines now and we’ll try to give our best there to go to the (zone) fi­nal.

“We know it will be a tough game be­cause they have a good team. I am con­fi­dent my team can score goals there. We will try to do our job there.”

An­to­nio’s de­fen­sive part­ner Do­minic Tan, play­ing due to in­juries to Aidil Za­fuan Radzak and Fadhli Shas, had a night­mare of an out­ing and the 20-year-old was re­placed early in the sec­ond half by Amir­ul­hadi Zainal af­ter nearly gift­ing Ceres a third goal.

Gonzalo Cabr­era fired Darul Ta’zim with an ex­cel­lent strike af­ter drib­bling from near the half­way line in the 18th minute but Ceres stunned Larkin with two quick goals.

Fer­nando Ro­driguez equalised with a stun­ning div­ing header three min­utes later be­fore Bien­venido Mara­non was al­lowed the free­dom to let off a shot by Do­minic in the 26th minute.

Safiq Rahim evened the scores in the 44th minute with a header from Fa­zly Ma­zlan’s cross be­fore Hazwan grabbed his first goal of the tour­na­ment to leave Ceres win­less in five meet­ings with Malaysian op­po­si­tion. Devinder Singh

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.