The last time JDT lost by a margin of more than a single goal, it was a 3-0 reverse to Japanese giants Gamba Osaka, 50 weeks ago. The 5-2 defeat suffered at Supachalasai Stadium on Tuesday night showed that despite their dominance in Malaysia, JDT are still some way off to the best in the region.
Muangthong raced to a 3-0 lead at half time, adding another two more after the break. The Thais eased off the pace towards the end which allowed Jorge Pereyra Diaz to grab a brace of goals, both coming in added time in the second half.
Morais did not mince his words in the post-match press conference afterwards. The Portuguese accepted that Muangthong were by far the better team on the night as his side struggled to cope with the pace and tactics of the home side.
"First, we want to congratulate Muangthong because they won the game. In the first 25-30 minutes, it was very difficult for us, particularly with the counter attacks of Muangthong. We made uncharacteristic mistakes which cost us but we have to acknowledge that today Muangthong were the better side."
"We were never in the game. We tried to fight but they were better. But today was a good lesson for us and hopefully next time when we are in this competition again, we can show that we can compete," said Morais.
The Malaysia Super League kicks off next Saturday and JDT will come up against Kedah in their opening match. Without the concern of another AFC Champions League qualifier, the reigning Super League champions can now concentrate fully on domestic matters until the AFC Cup comes around.
With this defeat, JDT will go into the AFC Cup where their group has already been decided. Persija Jakarta (Indonesia), Tampines Rovers (Singapore) and Song Lam Nghe An (Vietnam) are in their Group H with the first match starting in the second week of February.
"Our focus before was this game against Muangthong. This game show us that we need to prepare more because today was difficult. Our next focus will be the Super League."
"Of course we want to come back into this competition. That's the reason why we want to win our league again because next time, we don't need to be in this stage of the competition," he added.