Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) secured an important 3-0 away win against Cambodia’s Beoung ket Angkor.
Goals from Nazmi Faiz, Safawi Rasid, and Gabriel Guerra helped the Southern Tigers to clinch an important victory. They are currently placed second in the Group F table, trailing close behind Global FC who are in first place.
But it wasn’t as easy as it looked, according to JDT’s head coach Benjamin Mora. There were a few challenges that the Southern Tigers had to weather at the away pitch, as well as modifying tactical strategies with new players in the squad.
“Playing at the away ground in the AFC Cup is not something easy. The first challenge for us was the quality of the pitch and the difference in the rather hot weather.” Benjamin Mora said.
The second challenge was that there were a few players in the starting XI who rarely play as the starting XI, and they needed time and confidence to adapt to their roles on the pitch.
“To be the best football team in Southeast Asia, we have to be smart in controlling the game play and use strategies such as choosing players who rarely play as the first eleven.” Mora added.
Benjamin Mora also noted that he was satisfied with the performance of the new additions in the squad, like goalkeeper Haziq Nadzli and centre-back Dominic Tan.
“They had played well and successfully won the match last night. I assume we are already ready to qualify for the next round.”
But how are the new players able to step up immediately upon being thrusted into the starting XI?
According to the Mexico-born head coach, every player in JDT must be ever ready to play.
“There is no definitions such as ‘team A’ and ‘team B’ in JDT because every player is committed to the club.”
“Each player we have now have shown that they are very committed. It was proven when Safawi and few players were able to play as strikers in last night’s match. We didn’t have strikers since both strikers; Brian and Hazwan were injured.”
“All JDT players are responsible enough and a hundred percent ready to play at any time.” the coach said.
Johor Darul Ta’zim will be taking on Pahang at home this weekend for the second leg of the FA Cup fixture.