Johor Darul Ta'zim's unbeaten record in AFC Champions League 2022 continued in impressive fashion on Thursday evening as they held the heavily-fancied Kawasaki Frontale to a 0-0 draw to stay top of Group I.
After an opening-day 5-0 win over an understrength Guangzhou was followed by a stunning 2-1 triumph over 2020 champions Ulsan Hyundai three days ago, there was plenty of intrigue as to whether JDT could maintain their fine start in another tough test.
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It was Frontale who looked the more dangerous of the two teams in the first half only to find JDT -- boosted by the return of first-choice goalkeeper Farizal Marlias -- stubborn to break down.
As the game wore on, it was JDT who could have snatched the three points but substitute Safawi Rasid was just unable to capitalise on a couple of half-chances.
Nonetheless, the result allowed the Southern Tigers to stay two points clear of Frontale, while Ulsan finally picked up their first win of the campaign by beating Guangzhou 3-0.
Over in Group F, Lion City Sailors were unable to build on Monday's historic win over Daegu as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Shandong Taishan -- despite recording 19 shots to their opponent's three.
The group has now been thrown wide open with just two points separating the top three, after Daegu bounced back to claim a 1-0 victory over Urawa Red Diamonds, ending the two-time champions' perfect start in the process.
BG Pathum United remain joint leaders of Group G as they cruised to a 5-0 rout of United City, level on points with Melbourne City who grinded out a 2-1 triumph over Jeonnam Dragons.