BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Felda United forward Thiago Augusto Fernandes is confident that his familiarity with their Malaysia Cup semi-finals opponents Kedah will be an asset to the Fighters in the two-legged tie.
In 2016, having recovered from a lengthy injury in the middle of the season, the Brazilian was sent for a loan spell at Kedah by then Felda head coach Irfan Bakti Abu Salim. In Alor Star, he helped the Red Eagles finish the league in the third place and capture their fifth Malaysia Cup title.
At the conclusion of the season he was let go by the Fighters, but returned in the 2017 mid-season transfer window to help Felda record 10 wins out of 16 matches in all competitions. They are currently third in the league with one round to go, and have reached the Malaysia Cup semis.
"I know (Kedah), they haven't changed many players except for two foreign players.
"They kept most of their local players, they are a good team but so are we. I think we're going to have a good game this Sunday," said the 27-year old when met by the press before training on Friday.
However, he is still cautious and remarked that the tie can go either way.
"It's 50-50. Kedah are a good side and so are we, they work hard and so do we.
"Kedah are very good in the league and the Malaysia Cup, they have a good crowd behind them. But our team are also strong now.
"We will see two exciting matches," added Thiago.
But having been described as one of the reasons behind the Fighters' resurgence, the Brazilian said that his target is only to help Felda win, instead of finding the back of the net.
"A striker will always try to score, but I'll help my team when defending and attacking.
"The important thing is to win," he remarked.
The first leg will be played at the Tun Abdul Razak Stadium, Jengka this Sunday, while the return fixture will take place next Saturday. The two sides have met twice this season, both in the league, with the match in Jengka ending in a 1-1 draw and the clash in Alor Star won by the visitors 3-1.