Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) head coach Mario Gomez played down the early substitution of Aidil Zafuan Radzak in Thursday's match against Borussia Dortmund.
Aidil seemingly struggled to cope with the pace and movement of the visitors as the Southern Tigers were blitzed by three goals in the space of 10 minutes in the first half.
Right after Dortmund scored their third of the night in the 33rd minute, the Malaysia international was the first player to make way, with Fadhli Shas coming on as his replacement.
The German side went on to record a 6-1 win.
Speaking after the match, Mario Gomez insisted that the substitution was unrelated to Aidil's performance.
"I want to rest him for the upcoming league game against Selangor, just like how I rested Lucho [Figueroa]," said the Argentine during the press conference.
"I also want to give the other players some game time [against a club like Borussia Dortmund]."
JDT will next take on Selangor, which will take place at the Larkin Stadium on July 13.