Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) manager, Esteban Solari attributes the key to the 2-1 victory over Ulsan Hyundai in the AFC Champions League Group I match at Sultan Ibrahim Stadium last night to the unwavering commitment of every player.
According to Solari, the JDT players displayed exceptional performance, exuding energy in every minute of the game, taking control of the positions and engaging in high-intensity gameplay. He believes in his proteges’ ability to defeat the newly crowned Korean K1 League champions, especially when playing on JDT’s home turf. This comes after both teams faced off at the Munsu Stadium, where JDT suffered a 1-3 defeat on October 24th.
“We nearly translated our first-half efforts into goals after dominating the game, but luck wasn’t on our side to score more than one goal when attempts from Fernando Forestieri, Bergson Da Silva, and Heberty Fernandes hit the crossbar and the opponent’s goalpost.
“This time, the match was different from the one at Munsu Stadium, as we defended better, and the players gave extra effort on the field. Most importantly, the character of every player who never gave up shone through today.
“Even though the opponents managed to equalize, we didn’t give up but continued to push forward and launch attacks on the opponent’s goal. I believe we could win this match, so I introduced Akhyar Rashid to add firepower to our attack, and it paid off.
“I am very happy because we not only defeated the South Korean league champions but also brightened our chances for the next round. This victory is the result of the hard work of players who never lost hope,” he said.
In the match, Akhyar emerged as the hero of the team, as his first touch in the game allowed JDT to collect three points and share second place with Ulsan Hyundai in Group I, both teams accumulating six points, only separated by goal difference.
Solari also praised the resilience and determination of the defensive line and goalkeeper Ahmad Syihan Hazmi Mohamed, who performed brilliantly in the closing minutes of the game, denying attempt after attempt to thwart Hong Myung-bo’s squad’s goal-scoring ambitions.
The Argentine manager mentioned that this victory serves as a catalyst for the Southern Tigers to continue their winning streak as they face Group I leaders, Kawasaki Frontale, at Todoroki Stadium on November 28th.
(Source Credit: Berita Harian)
Credit Photo : HongZheng Lim/SNE-Photo