PETALING JAYA: Six-time Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) have been voted as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup club of the decade.
In an online poll conducted by the AFC on their official website, JDT received an overwhelming 80% votes from the 80,989 voters while Air Force Club of Iraq came in second with 12%. Kuwait’s Qadsia SC finished third in the poll with 6% while Kuwait SC and Lebanon’s Al Ahed had 2% and 1% respectively.
JDT became the first club from Southeast Asia to win the coveted AFC Cup when the Southern Tigers defeated Tajikistan’s Istiklol 1-0 in the final of the 2015 edition of the tournament at the Pamir Stadium in Dushanbe.
They displayed a dominant show in the group stage where they topped Group F and continued their fine form with comprehensive wins over Myanmar’s Ayeyawady United and Hong Kong heavyweights South China SC in the knockout rounds before their semi-final against Qadsia SC was disrupted by the Kuwait Football Association’s suspension by FIFA. The tie was subsequently awarded to JDT.
The final that followed saw JDT face a daunting test in Dushanbe at a sold-out Pamir Stadium against Istiklol.
Yet the Malaysian side rose to the occasion, with Leandro Velazquez’s (pic) goal enough to seal the tie and write JDT’s name into AFC Cup history.