# JDT ready to ride on big win over Ayeyawady United in AFC Cup

# Super League champions ready to swallow the Turtles in Super League match


Johor Darul Takzim owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim gave the Southern Tigers a standing ovation after defender Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak scored goal No 8 for the Southern Tigers in their 8-1 win over Ayeyawady United of Myanmar in a Group H match in the AFC Cup at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Bahru on Wednesday.

The huge win would not have come at a better time for the Super League champions as they travel east to face Terengganu in a league match at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Kuala Terengganu on Saturday.

But it is certainly bad news for the Turtles who are still unsettled and took the drastic action to “rest” their head coach Ahmad Yusoff after only three matches in the M-League so far – two in the league and one in the FA Cup.

Terengganu beat newcomers Penang 1-0 at home but fell to another promoted side Kedah by a similar margin away. But the shock was to come in the FA Cup second round when the East Coast powerhouse was defeated by Premier League club side PKNS FC 3-1.

The Turtles were expected to stroll past PKNS FC and the defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for Terengganu. Still, “resting” Ahmad from his job after three matches is rather hasty by the management, especially when the team has yet to settle down following movement of players for the new season.

Starting all over again under a new coach means the players are wondering what is next if the team loses against JDT or in the next three matches? Will heads roll again?

On top of that team manager team manager Marzuki Sulong is also gone – quitting the team due to health reasons. This double blow for the East Coast state after both their teams were knocked out of the FA Cup in the second.

T-Team (Terengganu FC II) were shown the exit by Pahang in the second round.

Australian Mike Mulvey, Ahmad’s assistant has been handed the reins but he certainly faces an uphill task against the hungry Southern Tigers who are unbeaten in the league and retained the Charity Shield in the M-League curtain raiser.

The Johor outfit are also the FA Cup third round after a 5-0 rout of Premier League side UiTM FC and will face Negri Sembilan in the third round.

Puttinf this aside, the way JDT hammered the daylights out of Ayeyawady United at the Larkin Stadium drove home a strong message that the Southern Tigers are not about to release their hold on the AFC Cup on the international front.

On the local front it is strong signals that JDT have the manpower and firepower to face the best in the country. Signals that they want to win the FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup to add to their trophy cabinet.

With depth on the bench coach Mario Gomez need not worry in picking his first eleven in all competitions.

New signing Juan Martin Lucero showed that he can score goals and beautiful ones too. Skipper Safiq Rahim is in his element and is playing his best football now – which should please national coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee.

JDT are second in the league standings after two matches with four points from their 1-1 draw with Selangor at the Larkin Stadium followed by a 2-0 win over T-Team away. Felda United lead the table standings with full points from two wins – against Kedah 2-0 (home) and Sarawak 2-1 (away).

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