Keon holds high expectations for cup final glory

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Khairul Helmi is hoping that results in the past year will get the Kedah players to go into the final without any fear.

Khairul Helmi has led his Kedah side out in a cup final at Shah Alam Stadium twice already in the past 12 months and will make it three in a row come Saturday. His Kedah side come into the match against Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) looking to retain the Malaysia Cup trophy they won last year.

The centre back who is also commonly known as 'Keon' is hoping that his team can draw confidence from the result of the two matches that they have faced JDT thus far this season. Both matches ended in a draw at 90 minutes but crucially for Kedah, they have gone on to win on penalties in the Charity Shield.

Given how they were able to match up against the might of JDT in the past, Keon is confident that his team can finish the job in the final.

"The difference between last year and this year is only the team that we are facing. JDT are a team we know to be perfect in M-League. I just hope that everyone on and off the pitch will give our highest commitment in the match. It's our intention to keep the trophy in Kedah."

"For us players, after the two matches that we played them, the game was a balanced one. So for the final, we have high expectations to win but for a final, the one that perform will win," said Keon in the pre-match press conference on Friday.

Kedah's triumph over Selangor in the 2016 cup final was masterminded by Tan Cheng Hoe with current head coach, Nidzam Adha alongside as assistant coach. Having been there and done it before, Nidzam is hoping some of the green will rub off again this time around.

Nidzam will also get to use the service of his main striker Ken Ilso, as they look to find gaps in JDT's defence. 

"3 times that FMLLP has organized finals, Kedah have been in all three. It's also in the same stadium, so we are also hoping to get the same kind of luck. Ilso has recovered and there shouldn't be any concern to put him in the starting XI. Our target if possible is to finish within 90 minutes," said Nidzam.

Having rested Zac Anderson and Sandro da Silva in the final Super League match against the same opponent, Nidzam will look to his full quorum of imports to spearhead Kedah into another season-ending success.

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