March 3, 2020 / 4:44 PM / 3 months ago

Mauricio header earns JDT victory in Asian Champions League

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Johor Darul Ta’zim’s Brazilian defender Mauricio headed a 73rd-minute winner as the Malaysian champions beat South Korea’s Suwon Bluewings 2-1 in the Asian Champions League group stage on Tuesday.

JDT had taken the lead through Gonzalo Cabrera’s 13th-minute penalty only for Australian midfielder Terry Antonis to come off the bench and curl his effort into the top corner to equalise six minutes into the second half.

Yet Mauricio’s close-range header earned JDT their first win in the 2020 campaign which left them three points behind Japan’s Vissel Kobe in second place in Group G after two games.

“It was a very difficult match,” said JDT coach Benjamin Mora.

“The Korean team is very disciplined, very strong, they were very powerful.

“We needed to sit back a little bit to wait for the opportunity...

“We did a good job, I think, for the fans and with the result we’re very happy for the boys.”

The game at Johor’s recently-opened Sultan Ibrahim Stadium was the only one played in the Asian Champions League on Tuesday after matches across the continent were postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

All but one of the matches involving Chinese clubs since the competition kicked off last month have been postponed until April while games in the west of the continent have also been pushed back.

Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Toby Davis

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