PETALING JAYA: Having swept everything and everyone before them, Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) are now looking for the one thing that no one will give them – the status of underdog.
JDT will not invest in getting new players while many other teams are making improvements to face the next season.
“I think in 2023, JDT is going to be the underdog because we haven’t invested any money,” said the club owner Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.
“JDT should not be seen as the challenger because we are more comfortable being a team that is an underdog and not a favourite.
“In my 10 years in the industry, this is the most meaningful success for me because we won many trophies from the under-12 team to the first team, going through 35 domestic matches without defeat. I don’t think it can be repeated.
“However, if this achievement can be repeated, it would be very good indeed but I am aware that it will be very difficult,” said Tunku Ismail on the sidelines after a friendly match between JDT and Germany’s Borussia Dortmund at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium on Monday.
Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund scored two goals in each half to beat the newly-crowned Malaysia Cup champions 4-1.
The dominant Germans, coached by Edin Terzik, needed just 11 minutes to draw first blood through Justin Njinmah before making it 2-0 in the 31st minute through Donyell Marlen following a goalmouth scramble.
The home team managed to reduce the deficit 10 minutes later through a fine effort from JDT’s young player Arif Aiman Hanapi.
Borussia Dortmund struck the third in the 60th minute when Ole Pohlmann rammed home a fine cross from Can Ozkan before Samuel Samba wrapped up the proceedings with the fourth in the 69th minute.
JDT have swept the Charity Shield, Super League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup titles this year and still look to be the best team in the country going into next season.