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Delighted Safawi spurred on by final situation in 2017

08:21 GMT+4 27/10/2019
Safawi Rasid, Selangor v Johor Darul Ta'zim, Malaysia Cup, 26 Oct 2019
Safawi Rasid bent on making the pitch for the Malaysia Cup final with Johor Darul Ta'zim this time after failing to do so two years ago.

When JDT were last in the final of the Malaysia Cup, it was in 2017 when they beat Kedah 2-0 to lift the cup for the first time in the club's short existence. Yet curiously the JDT side then coached by Ullises Morais did not have Safawi Rasid either on the pitch on the bench. A sight that would be rare in 2019 if a fit Safawi is available.

In the two years since that final, Safawi has not only established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet of JDT but also for the Malaysia national team. The three goals he scored against Selangor in the semi-final second leg yesterday takes his tally of the season to 19 for JDT, with 10 in the Malaysia Cup.

"I was tired in the first leg because I just went straight back into training after time with the national team. But that's not a problem, because I'm a professional footballer. There will be days when I'm good and not good. Johor has the best facilities and it helped me in my recovery.

"It doesn't matter who scores. This game maybe I had the luck but in other games, it will be my team mates. That I did score also is down to what my team mates do around me. When JDT reach the final in 2017, I was only on the bench and didn't play. So for me personally, I really want to win in the final," said Safawi in the post-match press conference.

It was a reversal of fortunes for Safawi after a difficult first leg at Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium last weekened where he looked out of sorts and frankly out of breath. A week later and even though it is not back to his 100% fitness-wise, Safawi came up with the goods to score a hattrick of goals.

On all three occasions, it was his burst of speed beyond the last defender and having the sure-mindedness in his shooting abilities that ensured that he found the back of the net against his international team mate in Khairulazhan Khalid. Another week of recuperation and recovery, Safawi might show an even better performance in the final. Consider yourself warned, Kedah.


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