ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) failed to take advantage of playing their opening Asian Football Confederation Champions League (ACL) 2023/2024 match on home turf after going down 0-1 to Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium, here last night.
Brazilian striker Marcinho’s scissor-kick off a Tatsuki Seko header on the stroke of half time was enough to ensure a victory for the visitors in their Group l match.
JDT, winner of numerous titles on home soil, failed to find the target despite numerous chances that came along their way and their normally lethal strike-force failed to ignite when it really mattered most.
The Malaysian Super League champions under Esteban Solari managed to hold their own against the four times J-League champions but the Japanese outfit held on to claim all three points.
JDT had a good look at goal when presented a freekick just outside the penalty box but JDT’s Spanish striker Juan Muniz Gallego sent his shot well over the crossbar.
Even the normally formidable Brazilian Bergson Da Silva was unable to break the duck for JDT in front of a hostile 24,597 fans who had filled the stadium well ahead of the kick off.
In another ACL match played earlier, Hungarian striker Martin Adam scored a hattrick in the 28th, 73rd and 78th minutes to help two-time champions Ulsan Hyundai FC from South Korea to kick off their campaign with a 3-1 win over Thailand’s BG Pathum United at the Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium.
BG Pathum United’s consolation came from Ryhan Stewart in the 41st minute.
Ulsan Hyundai now lead Group I with three points and a better goal advatage over Kawasaki Frontale while JDT and BG Pathum United are in third and fourth spots respectively.
JDT’s second ACL match will be against BG Pathum United at the Pathum Thani Stadium while Kawasaki Frontale host Ulsan Hyundai FC at the Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium with both matches to be played on Oct 3. - Bernama