JDT aim to upset Korean champions in ACL blockbuster

ISKANDAR PUTERI: In a showdown of football giants, Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT), the Super League champions, will host newly crowned K League 1 winners Ulsan Hyundai in a highly anticipated Asian Champions League (ACL) Group I blockbuster clash at Sultan Ibrahim Stadium tomorrow.

Ulsan were crowned K League 1 champions by defeating Daegu 2-0 on Oct 29, while JDT regained their Super League title for the 10th consecutive time in September.

With JDT currently sitting in third place with three points, this game holds high stakes as they seek to maintain their chances of advancing to the next stage of the ACL.

In the first round, Ulsan, who are second in the group with six points, defeated JDT 3-1 at home.

JDT coach Esteban Solari holds high hopes of orchestrating an upset against Ulsan and has advised his players to adhere to their tactical plan without showing too much respect to their Korean opponents.

"We are highly motivated and focused, and aware of the importance of tomorrow's game.

"Yes, we are facing the Korean league champions, but that's not a reason for us to overly respect them.

"We need to work even harder, especially in the first half of the game, as facing Ulsan requires strong determination to match their strength.

"Building on our successful domestic outings, we hope to do something in the ACL."

Solari added that it's not a do-or-die mission, highlighting that consistency in football is essential, and maintaining a high-intensity playing style is key to success.

He also urged his players not to allow Hong Myung Bo's team dominate the game.

"We have to be effective and minimise mistakes. We've thoroughly analysed our previous ACL games and addressed our shortcomings.

"Dominating the game, playing offensively, and strengthening our defence are crucial," Solari added.

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