KUALA LUMPUR – Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) has a better chance of making it to the semifinals of the 2015 AFC Cup compared with Pahang who are Malaysia’s other representative in the competition.
In the AFC Cup quarterfinal draw held yesterday, JDT were drawn against South China from Hongkong while Pahang will face an uphill task against FC Istiklol from Tajikistan.
In the quarterfinals, JDT face the Hong Kong outfit at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Baharu on Aug 25 while Pahang travel to Dushanbe, Tajikistan on the same day.
In the return leg scheduled on Sept 15, JDT face South China at the Mongkok Stadium in Hong Kong while Pahang host FC Istiklol at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan on Sept 16.
JDT honorary secretary Mohd Fahmy Yahya when met said both JDT and Pahang are in with a chance since it was a fair draw.
“Whoever we play or wherever we play, the JDT will give their best. We will perform our best because this is the first time JDT has made it to the AFC Cup quarterfinals and we need to show that our team can play, not only in Malaysia but globally,” he told reporters after the draw, here yesterday.
Meanwhile, South China head coach, Mior Casemiro said he knows that JDT are a strong team but was confident of his team’s capabilities.
“I’m very confident we can move to the next stage by qualifying for the semifinals. No matter where we play (home or away) it will be tough.
“JDT coach Mario Gomez…he knows so much about my team, South China…100 percent. But still we are confident we can play a good match in Malaysia and get a good result,” he said.
Pahang team manager Fahrizal Hasan admitted that facing the team from Tajikistan would be a tough assignment for his team.
“To have reached the quarterfinals is a historic achievement for us, so we are going to go all out to ensure a place in the semis,” he said. – BERNAMA