AFC Champions League

JDT Crash Out of Champions League With Loss To Shandong

Aiman Nazirmuddin

Football Tribe Malaysia


Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) dropped out in the Asian Champions League (ACL) after losing 0-1 to Shandong Luneng FC at home in the fourth matchday of Group E.

Graziano Pelle handed Shandong the only goal of the game after a close-range shot in the 22nd minute to chalk-up their second win of the group stage at the Larkin Stadium last night.

The two teams started quite fiercely, with the hosts, in particular, attempting to play an open and expansive game. However, after Shandong Luneng scored the first goal, JDT had no answer and their response was weak. 

JDT dropped without their important leader defense, Mauricio Nascimento, who was suffering from injuries. Additionally, they did not list Gonzalo Cabrera in the starting line-up, meaning that Brazilian striker Diogo Luis Santo was the only main attacking outlet for the Malaysian Champions up front. 

In the second half, JDT was forced to up their game and had the chance to call on Cabrera, Safawi Rasid and Hazwan Bakri. However, attempts from both team failed to produce, and the Chinese side’s one-goal advantage stood for the remainder of the match. 

The victory put Shandong Luneng on top of Group E with eight points.