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Johor Darul Ta'zim

5 most memorable JDT matches at Larkin Stadium

10:36 GMT+3 21/10/2019
Johor Darul Takzim vs LionsXII - Larkin Stadium
Goal picks out the 5 most important and memorable JDT matches at Larkin that will forever be etched in the history books of Malaysian football.

Seven years were spent by Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) where they went from zero to a major force in Malaysian football. Those seven years saw plenty of players going in and out of the club, consecutive league triumphs, continental participation, a plethora of goals and the occasional heartbreaks as well.

Beginning of the 2020 season, JDT will be playing their home games in the spanking new Sultan Ibrahim Stadium that is currently going into the final phase of its construction, leaving behind Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium to the past, handing it over to their feeder club in Johor Darul Ta'zim II.

When HRH Tunku Mahkota Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ), the Regent of Johor took over the club back at the start of 2013, the stadium was in a deplorable condition but gradual improvements has been made to the facilities and it is now considered one of the best in the country.

Super League, Malaysia Cup, FA Cup, AFC Cup, AFC Champions League as well as the odd high-profile friendly matches had been played at the ground but here are five of the best that will live long in the memories.

11 January 2013 JDT 1 Perak 0

It was the first ever match at the stadium under the now rebranded club. A pre-season that saw the likes of Safiq Rahim, Aidil Zafuan, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Safee Sali and Zaquan Adha joining the revolution down south created much buzz as the team headed into their opening Super League match of the season against Perak.

Under the guidance of Fandi Ahmad, JDT beat Perak through Aidil's four minutes into the second half to start their season on a positive note. They would eventually end up finishing third in the league behind Lionx XII and Selangor as well a reaching the FA Cup final to cap a decent first season under the new management.

20 Jun 2014 JDT 3 Kelantan 0

The following year, JDT's evolution began to take a very serious shape as they mounted a title assault on the Super League. Neck and neck with Selangor with two matches to be played, JDT were only a point ahead heading into the clash against Kelantan at Larkin. Goals from Amirulhadi Zainal (26'), Nazrin Nawi (53') and Luciano Figueroa (88') kept them ahead of Selangor who also won their match Sarawak.

That win set JDT up for a final day win against Sarawak in Kuching to land the club their first ever Super League title, a competition which they have not let go since then. This season they secured they sixth straight league title, a feat that may never have happen had it not been for the the first one back in 2014.

2 Aug 2015 JDT 1 South China FC 1

The quarterfinal encounter might look like a strange choice but context is important here. Because there were no semi-final match being played at Larkin due to the suspension of Kuwaiti teams from the competition, this earlier round match against Hong Kong side South China FC became the foundation for the success that JDT found in the AFC Cup.

Figueora struck an important penalty in the 51st minute but JDT had to settle for a draw in this first leg. A remarkable 3-1 win in Hong Kong sent them to the final against FC Istiklol where a solitary goal from Leandro Velazquez made JDT the first team from Southeast Asia to ever lift Asia's second cup competition.

21 Oct 2017 JDT 3 Perak 0

Having already landed three Super League titles and one FA Cup trophy, the Malaysia Cup have eluded JDT for the past four seasons leading up to this semi-final encounter against Perak. After a 1-1 draw in Ipoh, Larkin hosted the second leg as goals from Gonzalo Cabrera (57', 80') and Gabriel Guerra (74') ensured JDT only their second Malaysia Cup final appearance.

On hindsidght, the two semi-final matches against Perak provided far tougher proposition thatn Kedah did in the final as they latter was easily tamed in the final as JDT completed the collection of trophies in Malaysian football having already previously won the Charity Shield as well. 

8 May 2019 JDT 1 Kashima 0

While the first ever AFC Champions League match to be played at Larkin was the one against Gyeongnam FC, this match against Kashima Antlers proved to be of far significant value. Here was the reigning champions of the most elite club competition in Asia and they were made to look second best by JDT.

JDT gained plenty of plaudits and new admirers from their exploits in their maiden season in this competition with their brave positive style of football that included this win over Japanese side Kashima after Syafiq Ahmad produced a moment of brilliance to settle the contest in favour of The Southern Tigers.

 

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@official_kedahfa ikat @officialpahangfa dengan jaringan lewat @zaqone_08 manakala gol 🔥Leandro bantu @officialjohor menang tipis atas @faselangormy . Late Zaquan header helped Kedah to hold Pahang while a Leandro thunderbolt gave JDT a slim win over Selangor. . #PialaMalaysia2019 #MalaysiaCup2019 #JDT #Selangor #Kedah #Pahang #Zaquan #NorAzam #Velazquez #Ifedayo

A post shared by Goal Malaysia (@goal_malaysia) on Oct 19, 2019 at 9:20am PDT