Junior pays tribute to JDT fans for reaching cup final

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Junior Eldstal thinks the upcoming Super League clash against Kedah will have little bearing on the cup final.

When Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) went to Ipoh for the first leg of the Malaysia Cup semi-final, it wasn't a 90 minutes to remember for Junior Eldstal but a much improved performance in the second leg back in Johor Bahru enabled the reigning Super League champions to reach the cup final.

Junior and his team mates were able to deny Perak from getting an away goal and largely did well to contain the away side's attacking strategy at Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium on Saturday.

JDT will always find it hard to replace the experience and nous of someone like Marcos Antonio in their defence but Junior and Fadhli Shas are showing an improving partnership that could yet land them their first Malaysia Cup triumph.

Having struggled against the physical presence of Perak's Gilmar Filho in the first leg, Junior was able to keep a tight watch on the dangerous Brazilian in the second leg and he puts it down to the fans who were a big motivation factor.

"Going away to Perak was always going to be difficult but we came away with a good result. At Larkin we got our fans behind us and we were a lot more prepared for the direct football that they played."

"Whichever game we play at home, the team is always extra motivated. We play in front of amazing fans every week. So every we play at home, it's an undefeated fortress for us," said Junior after the match.

Kedah will be their opponent in the final but coincidentally, the Red Eagles will also be their opponent this week in the final fixture of this season's Super League. Junior has hinted that perhaps neither side would be willing to force the issue what with the league decided and a cup final on the horizon.

"We've already won the league, so I think we have to be a bit smart. We don't want to show to much and I guess it's the same for them too. So I think the league game will be not so much of a test but we know what we are coming up against," added Junior.

JDT and Kedah are arguably the two most consistent sides this season and if sparks don't fly in the league fixture at Alor Setar this weekend, the action and excitement could well be saved for the exciting final on 4 November.

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