JDT set sights on four trophies

Johor Darul Ta’zim coach Mario Gomez has said that his side are aiming to capture four trophies this season after winning the Malaysia FA Cup.

JDT have already secured two of those four trophies as they won the Charity Shield in February by beating Selangor in a penalty shootout. On Saturday, they came from behind to beat PKNS 2-1 to win their first-ever Malaysia FA Cup.

Johor made a slow start and found themselves 1-0 down after just five minutes when PKNS forward Gabriel Guerra converted a penalty after Aidil Zafuan was ruled to have impeded Gonzalo Soto.

However, captain Safiq Rahim brought JDT level 10 minutes later when he slotted home a penalty after PKNS goalkeeper G. Jeevanathan brought down Jorge Pereyra Diaz in the box.

Diaz then went on to score what would be the winner for the reigning Malaysia Super League champions when he found the back of the net in the 34th minute.

JDT had opportunities to extend their lead, but they failed to capitalise, while PKNS wasted chances to grab an equaliser.

Having clinched the Charity Shield and Malaysia FA Cup, Gomez has said that his side are now looking to win the Malaysia Cup and retain their AFC Cup title.

“They have shown strong character throughout the season,” Gomez told reporters. “We are targeting another two titles, and it’s much easier to do it when you have good players around you. We play Pahang next and will be ready for that, but for now it’s time to enjoy the moment.”

In the AFC Cup, JDT won all six of their group stage matches and will now face Kaya FC in the round of 16 on May 25.

Rahim believes that the next step for JDT is to feature in the AFC Champions League. The Malaysian outfit had an opportunity to do so this year, but failed to qualify for the tournament as they lost to Thailand’s Muang Thong United in a penalty shootout in a qualification match in February.

Despite the setback, Rahim believes that it is only a matter of time before JDT are playing in Asia’s elite competition. The 28-year-old also lauded owner Johor Crown Prince for his constant support.

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“He is an great inspiration to the team and constantly motivates us,” Safiq said. “But everything about this club is good, from its staff to the players. All of us want to achieve more, including myself. I am still learning, but I am motivated to produce a higher level of performance.

“I want to play in the AFC Champions League (ACL). It has been a dream of mine and I am at a club who can take me there.”

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