Preview MD1 – Group G: Vissel Kobe (JPN) vs Johor Darul Ta'zim (MAS)
Kobe: Vissel Kobe will make their AFC Champions League debut when the Japanese side host Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim in Group G at Misaki Park Stadium on Wednesday.
The J.League team secured their place in the Continental competition after defeating Kashima Antlers in the Emperor’s Cup final on January 1 to claim one of Japan’s two automatic qualifying spots.
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Vissel also boast former Barcelona star Andres Iniesta who, just like his ex-midfield partner Xavi did in 2015, made the move to Asian football in 2018 after bringing the curtain down on a glittering career with the Catalan club.
JDT, meanwhile, are making their second appearance in the AFC Champions League after debuting last year in a campaign that saw them win one and draw one of their six games as they exited at the group stage.
But the perennial Malaysian champions will have been satisfied with a maiden showing that included a narrow opening-day defeat in Japan at then holders Kashima and a memorable victory over the same opposition on Matchday Five.
While both sides’ domestic league seasons have yet to start, Vissel enjoyed further success on Saturday as they lifted the Super Cup after defeating J.League champions Yokohama F. Marinos on penalties after a 3-3 draw.
Vissel Kobe (JPN) vs Johor Darul Ta'zim (MAS)
Venue: Misaki Park Stadium, Kobe
Kick-off: February 12, 19:00 UTC+9
Photos: Vissel Kobe, Johor Darul Ta'zim
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