Malaysia Cup final: JDT strikes down Kedah once again


The Malaysia Cup returns to Johor after a gap of one year as JDT dominated the proceedings against Kedah at Bukit Jalil National Stadium to make it one of the most one-sided final in the history of the competition, a stark contrast to what happened in the final last year between Perak and Terengganu FC.

It was an easy 90 minutes run-out for JDT with the victory securing them a double success this year after having clinched their sixth straight Super League title earlier in the season. On the other side of the pitch, it was as if Kedah got lost in the occasion and perhaps should have been warned given how they performed in the semi-final.

Aidil Sharin's side edged out Pahang on goal difference but the fact that his defence got shredded time and again with eight goals in totals conceded to their opponents was an indication of the difficulties they would face against a far stronger attack in JDT's.

Leandro Velazquez, Kedah v Johor Darul Ta'zim, Malaysia Cup final, 2 Nov 2019

But Aidil was already dealt a bad hand prior to the first whistle as two key defensive duo in Renan Alves and Rizal Ghazali were made unavailable for selection because of suspension. In came a rusty Khairul Helmi at centre back and the underused Amirul Hisyam at right back. To add injury to insult, Aidil wasn't able to call upon an injured Fernando Rodriguez in his starting line-up.

A furious start to the match, JDT could have taken a fourth minute lead but Aidil Zafuan saw his header crashed against the post after a very good Safawi Rasid delivery. Then JDT were forced to make an early substitution as Diogo Luis Santo only lasted 24 minutes before hobbling off injured and his place was taken by Syafiq Ahmad.

And it was an immediate impact which Syafiq made as he danced into the box and produced a neat cut back for Leandro Velazquez to slam home the opening goal of the night in the 27th minute. Just eight minutes later, Safawi produced an outstanding free kick which hit the bar before bouncing over the line to give JDT a 2-0 lead.

Edgar Bernhardt, Hariss Harun, Kedah v Johor Darul Ta'zim, Malaysia Cup final, 2 Nov 2019

Last in the first half, Ifwat Akmal was called upon in successive minutes first stop a long range lob by Safawi before diving to his left quickly to push away Syafiq's header. That at least helped to keep the score respectable as both teams headed into half time with The Southern Tigers in a very positive mood.

The effervescent Syafiq was not to be denied in the second half as he rose highest in the 58th minute to nod home past Ifwat and effectively ended the match as a contest. Kedah looked deflated and in truth, offered very little in the attacking third with JDT's back four in supreme form.

From the first whistle to the final whistle, there was only one team that looked like they were going to lift the 2019 Malaysia Cup and it was JDT. The little resistance that Kedah offered showed the difference between the two teams and once again showcased that JDT are the undisputed king of Malaysian football.

 

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