BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) assistant head coach Ismail Ibrahim was elated by his charges' performance in their 3-0 AFC Cup group win over Boeungket Angker on Wednesday.
Despite needing a win to keep the pressure on Group F leaders Global, the Southern Tigers fielded mostly backup and reserves players at the start of the match, as the former AFC Cup champions are set to face rivals Pahang in the second leg of their FA Cup quarter-final tie this Sunday.
Ismail was nevertheless pleased with the players' success in completing their objectives against the Cambodian side.
Beoungket Angker vs JDT match highlights
"It was a meaningful win for JDT. We really needed the three points to close the gap with Global FC who also won their match. Thank you to all the players for giving their best to win the match.
"For your information, we played without strikers and those playing upfront were midfielders. The scorers were also our midfielders. Today we rested the team captain (Safiq Rahim) because we will have a very important match soon (against Pahang). A few of our players were rested too to prepare for that game," said Ismail as quoted by the JDT social media.
He added that he wants the youngsters fielded in the match to learn from the experience.
"We gave opportunities to all our young players to play. Our new goalkeeper is only 19 years old (Haziq Nadzli), so is our defender Dominic Tan. It was a good opportunity for them to play against Beoungket FC. Hopefully they will use the experience to further improve their game," Ismail stated.