South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai are the only team that stand in Johor Darul Ta’zim’s (JDT) way as the Malaysian club aim to make history tomorrow in the Asian Champions League (ACL).
On Wednesday, JDT secured three more points from a 2-0 win over Guangzhou FC to lead Group I with 10 points, ahead of Ulsan in second (10), Kawasaki Frontale (8) and pointless Guangzhou.
The Super League champions overcame Guangzhou, thanks to two penalties from Bergson da Silva (16th and injury time), making it a personal six goals for the Brazilian in the Asian campaign.
JDT, who won the Tier 2 AFC Cup in 2015, areJDT, who won the Tier 2 AFC Cup in 2015, are
After five games, JDT are neck-and-neck with Ulsan who overpowered Japan’s Kawasaki 3-2 at Larkin Stadium on Wednesday.
JDT will start with a psychological edge against Ulsan tomorrow, having stunned the Korean side, who were the 2020 ACL champions, 2-1 in the first leg last week. Hence, the Southern Tigers will not lack confidence in this final round decider.
The winners of each group and the three best runners-up from each region will advance to the knockout stages.
JDT, who crushed Guangzhou 5-0 in the first round, were restricted to a two-goal win in the return leg. “It is not easy to play against a team who defended nearly the entire game, but we managed to reach our objective to gain three points and we will now play Ulsan in our efforts to create history,” said JDT head coach Benjamin Mora.
“I am happy to see the progress of this club because it is not easy to compete in the ACL. Our players showed maturity in their game and now we just need one more win to qualify.”
Tomorrow’s final group matches between JDT-Ulsan and Kawasaki-Guangzhou will be played simultaneously at 5pm – at Sultan Ibrahim Stadium and Larkin Stadium respectively.
Mora is optimistic his men will perform despite the challenges posed by the fasting month. “Our players are committed and have their own ways to rest. Maybe they will get the strength from their minds.”
After JDT’s win over Guangzhou, they have earned another three points in the AFC Club Competition Rankings. The Southern Tigers have moved up to 14th in the continent.