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Pahang 0 JDT 2: Cabrera and Insa strikes settle tight contest

Goal.com logo Goal.com 11-07-2017

Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) continues their march towards another Super League title after they scored at the start and at the end of the match to secure a vital 2-0 win over Pahang at Darul Makmur Stadium on Tuesday night.

Gonzalo Cabrera's early goal with just less than 90 seconds of the match played was enough to earn JDT their 11th win of the 2017 Super League season. The Argentine benefited from Mohammeda Ghaddar's run down the left hand side and subsequent low cross that Cabrera side-footed past Wan Azraie Teh in Pahang's goal.

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The goal was Cabrera's 8th in the league this season and it enables JDT to maintain a nine point lead at the top of the table. With only seven matches remaining, the Southern Tigers are on course for an unprecedented fourth successive Super League title.

Natxo Insa settled the contest four minutes from the end after he capped off a wonderful move that started on the right hand side when Hazwan Bakri found Safiq Rahim inside the penalty box. The latter was aware of Insa's run and set the new-signing with an easy shot that Wan Azraie Teh failed to keep out.

Tricky trips to Selangor, Felda United and Kedah still remain, there's every chance that there can still be a twist to the league tale but the signs are looking increasingly ominous in JDT's march to retain their league title.

The highly anticipated match struggled to move up any gears in the first half despite the early goal for the visitors. Mohamadou Sumareh was Pahang's main threat from the right hand side and Azrif Nasrulhaq was struggling to contain the light-footed winger.

Twice Izham Tarmizi had to react fast to deny Pahang, first to deny Sumareh's cross from finding a team mate, then with a superb reflex save to push away Syamim Yahya's header from a corner kick routine.

Pahang's defence recovered from the early setback and began to keep a better shape, which limits the danger that JDT can cause. Heo Jae-won was keeping a closer eye on Ghaddar while Nor Azam Azih and Syamim worked hard to deny the likes of Safiq Rahim and Gabriel Guerra the space in which they like to operate.

The second half continued in the same vein with chances very hard to come by for either team. JDT threatened first from a free kick routine but Insa couldn't guide his header on target from a Cabrera cross. Then Ghaddar managed to find the back of the net but referee deemed his earlier nudge on Jae-Won a foul.

Pahang also had a goal disallowed when Alves headed in a Nor Azam cross but he was judged to be in an offside position. Later, Sumareh's first touch let him down after he was put through on goal and that it allowed Izham to close it and claim the ball.

Dollah Salleh introduced Nurridzuan Hassan and Joseph Kalang Tie to spur his team into a comeback but it was all in vain when Insa struck late. A match where Pahang failed to ask enough questions of JDT's defence, the away win will prove to be a justified result.

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