Johor Darul Ta'zim went into the match at Manjung Municipal Council Stadium with two wins from two matches and after 15 minutes of the opening half, looked set to continue their winning run in Group A of the Malaysia Cup. Gonzalo Cabrera struck a goal each with both feet in the 9th and 14th minute to give the visitors a rather comfortable start to the match.
But PKNP were not to be overawed by the situation and pulled one back before half time when Yashir Pinto squeezed a penalty past Izham Tarmizi before Giancarlo Lopes reacted quickest in the 79th minute to pounce on a rebound to level proceedings. JDT's head coach Benjamin Mora rued the defensive lapse in concentration but was also critical of his forward line who could have scored more.
"We began by playing good football in the first half and we did a good job in the strategy that we wanted to make. We were effective in the ball possession and situation that we had. We scored two very good goals but after 35 minutes, we started to have some problems.
"The penalty gave PKNP a boost of confidence and the level of the game became more balance. In the second half we tried to fix our decision making. We had two or three very good situation that we didn't score. And in football, you pay for the mistakes up front and in the defensive line.
"One point away in this pitch is not very bad because it's not an easy pitch. We will go back to Larkin and try to win against them in the next game," said Mora after the match.
The Manjung Municipal Council Stadium is fast proving to be a difficult ground for JDT to contest in as this is the second time in successive matches that they have been held in this venue. In the only other time that they've played there earlier this season in the Super League, JDT had to be satisfied with a 1-1 draw.
The two teams will now have a week to recover and learn from this situation before they face each other again at Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium on August 23 for the fourth match day of the group stage before the competition takes a breather for the international matches at the start of September.
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