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More or less with Mora…

By: MOHD FARIQ

HOW ironic that I was one of many media personnel who attended what turned out to be Benjamin Mora’s final Press conference at Likas Stadium, not long after his Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) side beat Sabah 2-1 thanks to a last-gasp free-kick by Fernando Forestieri, exactly 12 days ago.

When I started the ball rolling by asking him his thoughts of the match, Mora was direct, saying it was a difficult game and his boys started the match cautiously, realising Sabah were fully motivated, urged by their home fans.

“It was a difficult game as Sabah competed very well. We started strong with our pressing game, unfortunately our players were fouled several times. We grew into the game and executed our game plan.”

That was the game plan on the pitch. But little did he realise that three points garnered under his charge were to be his last for JDT.

The Mexican who has returned to his homeland as announced by JDT, will be remembered for his colourful character.

Animated and vocal along the sidelines, Mora is not one to accept things blindly.

His record speaks for itself. Since helming JDT over two stints since 2017, Mora registered 102 wins out of 148 games.

He succeeded Mario Gomez in January 2017 but made way for Ulisses Morais who was handpicked to helm the southern outfit five months later.

Morais lasted nine months before Mora was again entrusted to take up the cudgels.

Mora has been fairly successful, winning the Super League four times on the trot and taking JDT to the knock-out stages of the Asian Champions League.

With Bergson de Silva, Leandro Velazquez and Gonzalo Cabrera among those who starred in Mora’s ensemble, to name a few, JDT were far superior than their league opponents.

Whatever the real reason behind his return to Mexico, Mora deserves a mention in the annals of JDT’s achievement.

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