JDT returns to AFC Cup action this Wednesday, starting their campaign in Group H where matches against Persija Jakarta, Song Lam Nghe An and Tampines Rovers awaits. The first match is a home tie for the Southern Tigers where Indonesian side, Persija will be their first opponents.
Having won the competition back in 2015, JDT could well be participating in their final AFC Cup competition, at least until 2021. This is of course because Malaysia have earned an automatic spot in the AFC Champions League and JDT are yearly favourites to win the Malaysian Super League title which guarantees the spot to the ultimate cup competition in Asia.
In the 2017 AFC Cup, JDT fell at the zonal semi-final hurdle, losing out to Ceres-Negros FC on away goals rule after a pulsating second leg in the Philippines. They are expected to at least reach the same stage of the competition this year, if not better.
Here's the run-down on the three teams that JDT will face in the group stage.
How they qualified: 4th in Liga 1 Indonesia
Head coach: Stefano Cugurra (Brazil)
Notable players: Rizky Lestaluhu, Bambang Pamungkas, Marco Simic
Current form: Won 5 of their last 6 matches in the 2018 President's Cup
Fun Fact: Simic has 9 goals in the President's Cup
Best AFC Cup record: First time in the competition
Song Lam Nghe An
How they qualified: 2017 Vietnamese Cup winners
Head coach: Nguyen Duc Thang
Notable players: Que Ngoc Hai, Danko Kovacevic, Tran Nguyen Manh
Current form: Won their opening AFC Cup match 2-0 against Tampines Rovers
Fun Fact: SLNA have 2 players against Tampines that played in the final of the AFC U23 Championship
Best AFC Cup record: Round of 16 in 2011
How they qualified: 2017 S-League runnersup
Head coach: Juergen Raab (Germany)
Notable players: Fahrudin Mustafic, Daniel Bennett, Khairul Amri
Current form: Lost their opening AFC Cup match 2-0 against Song Lam Nghe An
Fun Fact: Tampines were also in the Champions League qualification round but were knocked out by Bali United
Best AFC Cup record: Quarterfinal in 2005-2007