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What happened when Kedah last met JDT in the Malaysia Cup?

06:06 GMT+4 30/10/2019
Liridon Krasniqi, Kedah, Gary Steven Robbat, Johor Darul Ta'zim
The two teams will face each other in the 2019 final this weekend and ironically, their last meeting in the competition came in the 2017 final.

Now that the excitement from the semi-final second leg on Saturday has finally died down, it's time to build up that anticipation all over again what with the 2019 Malaysia Cup final being set to be held this weekend at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium between Kedah and Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT).

Curiously enough, it was only 24 months ago that these two teams reached the final with JDT winning the 2017 final at the expense of Kedah. That was The Southern Tigers' first triumph in this competition since their rebranding from a state team to a club team back in 2013. Here's how it all went down as Goal takes you for a short trip down memory lane.

How Kedah and JDT got to the final

A Kedah side rocked by the departure of Tan Cheng Hoe midway through the season found Nidzam Adzha to be a capable replacement as the latter guided The Red Eagles through the earlier rounds before coming up against Felda United in the semi-final. A 1-1 draw in Jengka was followed by a 2-0 home win in the second leg with Sandro da Silva scoring all of those three goals for Kedah.

It was a similar story in the other semi-final that saw JDT go up against Perak. Mohamad Ghaddar's away goal in Ipoh cancelled out Hasbullah Abu Bakar's own goal in the first half to give JDT a first leg advantage. Ullisses Morais' side produced a storming second half in Larkin with a brace for Gonzalo Cabrera and another for Gabriel Guerra to secure a 4-1 aggregate win.

The final starting line-up

Kedah: Ifwat Akmal, Rizal Ghazali, Khairul Helmi, Zachary Anderson, Ariff Farhan, Baddrol Bakhtiar, Liridon Krasniqi, Amirul Hisyam, Sandro da Silva, Ken Ilso

JDT: Izham Tarmizi, S. Kunanlan, Fadhli Shas, Aidil Zafuan, Fazly Mazlan, Safiq Rahim, Gary Steven Robbat, Natxo Insa, Gonzalo Cabrera, Hazwan Bakri, Gabriel Guerra

Just two years later and both teams have a very different look to their respective sides. For a start the head coaches are already different with Aidil Sharin and Benjamin Mora in charge of Kedah and JDT respectively. From those 22 players that started the final at Shah Alam Stadium, only six players are likely to start Saturday's final, with three on each team.

How the 2017 final went

With all the buid-up and preparation that goes into getting ready for a final, whatever Nidzam had planned for his team went out the window before 180 seconds of football had been played as JDT started like a house on fire and got themselves a very handy early lead. Safiq Rahim's corner kick was nodded into the back of the net by Aidil Zafuan and that set the tone for the match.

Kedah had their chances to equalise during the game but found either Izham Tarmizi to be in inspired form or the frame of the goal post to be a stumbling block for them, Baddrol Bakhtiar among that struck the post in the second half. Sensing the opponents ascendency and needing to freshen up his team, Morais brought on Junior Eldstal and Afiq Fazail for Aidil and Gary Steven Robbat respectively.

That gave JDT the second wind that they needed and within three minutes of that double substitution, increased their lead in the match. Hazwan Bakri took on Safiq's pass and his subsequent cross into the box found Gonzalo Cabrera who side foots it past Ifwat to effectively win the contest for JDT.

A special post-match press conference

To say that Morais was extremely pleased to have guided JDT to their first Malaysia Cup triumph would be an understatement. The Portuguese brought out his entire coaching staff that included Raul Longhi and Luciano Figueroa, both of would subsequently had a period in Morais' seat in the seasons that followed.

This gesture by Morais was unprecedented as normally in any post-match press conference, it would be only the manager or head coach who would sometimes be accompanied by a player. It showed the team spirit at JDT that Morais was willing to have his spotlight being shared with those he worked with on a daily basis, perhaps the driving force as to why JDT eventually won the competition that year.

 

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