Maurico dos Santos, Diogo Luis Santo, Johor Darul Ta'zim v Kedah, Malaysia Super League, 28 Feb 2020Sports Regime

JDT edge out Kedah to lift first silverware of 2020 season

The performance might not have been perfect but the result was. A win, three points and Johor Darul Ta'zim picks up the 2020 Charity Shield after a hard fought 1-0 win over Kedah.

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But the 2019 Super League champions endured a poor start to the match and were largely disjointed. Kedah put them under early pressure and JDT struggled to cope.

An opening period that saw Kedah being the dominant side, they would be left to rue not converting the chances when they were on top in the match.

Aidil Sharin set his team well despite having two young midfielder in Fadzrul Danel and Amirul Hisyam Awang Kechik at the heart of his midfield.

Kpah Sherman, Aidil Zafuan, Johor Darul Ta'zim v Kedah, Malaysia Super League, 28 Feb 2020Sports Regime

While the comparatively more experienced Hariss Harun, Afiq Fazail and Leandro Velazquez were having trouble keeping possession, struggling to string more than a few passes together.

Hadin Azman and Baddrol Bakhtiar snatched at the chances presented to them while JDT's new signing Matthew Davies was excellent in denying Tchetche Kipre in the 43rd minute.

That block inside his own box was then proceeded by the opening goal at the other end when Mauricio nodded in from an inch perfect Gonzalo Cabrera cross.

The goal instilled the confidence back into what was a shaky JDT side as they came out in the second half very much the stronger side and the game swung the other way.

Safawi Rasid, Johor Darul Ta'zim v Kedah, Malaysia Super League, 28 Feb 2020Sports Regime

Shakir Hamzah who had been booked in the 48th minute was lucky to escape another yellow just three minutes later when he scythed down Safawi Rasid but the referee took a lenient view of proceedings.

Safawi dusted himself off and could have added to JDT's lead soon after when he dribbled straight at Kedah's defence only to find his shot spinning wide of the far post.

In the end, Kedah offered very little in the second half to change the outcome and JDT held on until the end with consummate ease. 

A closely fought affair at the spanking new stadium that supposedly showcased the best two in the country and on the evidence of the match, that notion isn't wrong.

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