JDT's Mario Gomez hails 2016 MSL crown as his best sporting moment

Mario Gomez hailed the 2016 season as the "best moment" in his sporting life after inspiring Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) to a history-making, third consecutive Malaysia Super League (MSL) title on Friday night.

The Argentine coach witnessed his flamboyant unit dismantle Terengganu 3-0 in front of a capacity crowd at Larkin Stadium, thanks to a brace from Jorge Pereyra Diaz and a Safiq Rahim penalty.

That achievement was yet another milestone for the silver-haired Gomez, who only arrived at the club in 2015 to take over the Southern Tigers' hotseat from Bojan Hodak.

"This is the best moment in my sport life. We have won five trophies since I arrived, thanks to my players. All of them have worked hard for this since January, and I am so happy that we won the league," Gomez told ESPN FC.

But the 57-year-old is ready to leave the champagne on ice, and get down to business against his former employers South China in the AFC Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday. The Johor outfit travel to Hong Kong for the first leg.

He said: "Now we have a chance to win the AFC Cup again, and we will get ready for that."

MALAYSIA SUPER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS 2014 . 2015 . 2016 #officialJDT #JDT #HarimauSelatan #PermataSelatan #HAT-TRICK MSL

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Gomez led JDT to the Charity Shield in February and FA Cup title in May, adding to the MSL and AFC Cup titles he won after taking over as coach in April last year.

While he acknowledges JDT are powered by some gifted individuals, Gomez says his record breakers have raised the bar as a collective force.

"Diaz, [Juan Martin] Lucero, Safiq [Rahim] are all key players, but all my players work hard for each other. Our teamwork is one of the key factors to our success," he said.

Prior to landing his career-changing role in JDT, Gomez first achieved success in his native Argentina, winning the second-division Primera B Nacional with Gimnasia de Jujuy in 2005.

He had to wait another nine years before tasting silverware again as a coach, this time with Ecuador's Deportivo Cuenca in the 2014 Lunar New Year Cup.

That success took Gomez to his first coaching stint in Asia with South China from 2014-15, before JDT came calling.

The former defender, who was slightly injured in a minor motorcycle accident last week, could reach another two landmarks with JDT this season, if he steers them to the 2016 AFC Cup, and stays unbeaten in the MSL.

No Malaysian side has ever captured four trophies in a season, or finished the MSL campaign unbeaten.