The task at hand going into the final group match on home soil was obvious, maintain top spot in the group and and easier route in the knock-out stage of the competition will be the reward. Aidil Shahrin's Kedah did just that with a comprehensive win at Darul Aman Stadium and now await who finishes second place in Group B.
Four different players scored on the night for Kedah as they ran rampant against Negeri Sembilan. Farhan Roslan (18'), Fernando Rodriguez (45'), Fayadh Zulkifli (78') and Edgar Bernhardt (90') all scored for the home side as they held off the challenge of Terengganu FC for the top spot.
A very pleased Aidil greeted the press after the match and praised the output shown by his players in meeting their target of getting out of the group in the right position. The head coach was particularly happy with the response shown by his players after many doubted their progress in the competition.
"We got what we wanted, the three points and finished top of the group. Before the Terengganu game, no one gave us hope and they thought Kedah would lose there. Credit has to be given to the players, they never gave up. They trained hard and took care of themselves. I'm pleased with the attitude and commitment.
"Nando (Rodriguez) had groin injury and still wanted to play. David (Rowley) was bleeding like Bad (Baddrol) and still wanted to play on. We can see how much our players wanted to fight and become the group champion. Negeri Sembilan gave us a good fight, they came here with nothing to lose.
"We know these two teams won't be easy. PJ City has a fighting spirit. Without big names they want to play and they already upset big teams. PKNP we drew here. So it won't be easy whoever we face. But I have to motivate players not to take teams lightly. We cannot give them chances, it's important that give our focus and 100%," said Aidil in the post-match press conference.
Aidil also went on to reveal that he will be present at Manjung Municipal Council Stadium on Friday to take in the PKNP FC versus Petaling Jaya City FC match with a view of identifying where his team can take advantage of their possible opponents in the quarterfinals.
Having already guided Kedah to the FA Cup trophy earlier this season, Aidil now has a chance to add to the trophy cabinet and make his first season in Malaysian football a resounding success.
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