Super League

JDT on course for defensive record

Super League
Johor Darul Ta'zim v Pahang
Marcos António
Johor Darul Ta'zim
A fifth Super League title in a row would be a historic feat but that doesn't look like the only record that Johor Darul Ta'zim would beat.
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The 1-0 win over Pahang gives JDT a mega 11 points lead at the top of the table and it is hard to see past the reigning champions retaining the title they have held securely for the past four seasons. A common belief in football is that strikers win the team games but defenders win the team championships, and that is truly reflected in the 2018 league campaign for JDT.

The clean sheet collected against Pahang was JDT's fourth in consecutive matches and their 10th overall from 14 matches played this season. An amazing record of only five goals conceded thus far throughout the season. 

At the heart of it all is of course ever-present centre back, Marcos Antonio. The Brazilian has been the bedrock of JDT's defence for years and still looks as imperious as when he first joined the club. On Saturday night, he completely snuffed out the threat of Issey Nakajima-Farran to give Pahang a toothless attack.

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"Tough win for us but it is not over yet, there are still a lot of matches to be played. We know it's not easy for new players to play here. But it was more important to create those chances."

"For all the players and staff, we don't take it easy. We try to win all games. If we can win the league early, then we will. We need to take it game by game and respect all teams," said Antonio to HyppTV after the match.

The best defensive record for JDT in their title winning years was in 2016 when they conceded 14 goals. With only eight matches left to be played for JDT this season, even if they concede a goal a game for the rest of the season, they would still better that record.

Of late, Aidil Zafuan has been the preferred partner for Antonio and that duo seemed to have reenact their solid partnership from 2015 that saw The Southern Tigers lift the AFC Cup. Farizal Marlias' return between the posts has also been crucial to the increasing solidity of JDT's defence.

It looks like JDT are on course for yet another league title and chances are, a few more records will be broken along the way.