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Johor Darul Ta'zim

A familiar National Stadium could play into JDT's hands

04:07 GMT+3 02/11/2019
Aidil Sharin, Baddrol Bakhtiar, Benjamin Mora, Hariss Harun, Kedah v Johor Darul Ta'zim, Malaysia Cup final, 1 Nov 2019
Benjamin Mora is counting on a fair bit of familiarity when his Johor Darul Ta'zim side take to the pitch in the Malaysia Cup final against Kedah.

While Mora himself has not participated in a match at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium (SNBJ), the same cannot be said for a whole host of JDT players. With the core of the Malaysia national team coming from this JDT squad, there's a lot of knowledge within the team on what it will be like at a packed SNBJ.

Safawi Rasid, Aidil Zafuan, Farizal Marlias, S. Kunanlan, La'Vere Corbin-Ong, Akhyar Rashid, Syafiq Ahmad and Syamer Kutty Abba are just some of the JDT players who have featured consistently for Malaysia, past and present. It may only be a minimal advantage but it cannot be underestimated despite this time the support from the stands being 50-50 rather than a full backing.

"Knowing the pitch, knowing the stadium. Having the experience in the national team and having previously playing here. It helps that they have the knowledge of the pitch, the stadium and the atmosphere. I don't see it as very determined that it is helpful but it helps, of course. 

"It is very important that JDT is one more time in the Malaysia Cup final. It has been a long journey, a tough one. But I think in the final, there's no favourite team. It's a different game. A lot of things are involved. So many external factors and also different mindset in one game to put together all that you've done in the year to win one game. 

"We don't see ourselves as favourites. We are a team that is a modern team but still a long way to go to make more history. We respect Kedah a lot. They had been having a good year, winning the FA Cup and did very well in the league. We are one of the two teams that want to win and we want to do it.

"It has been a long year. A long of matches, a lot of traning sessions and a lot of effort and sacrifices for every single one of the players including the national team players. They have been having a lot of minutes. They have been required to do their best. So at some point, we can have some physical difficult but we're okay. We're not worried and JDT players are 100% fit," said Mora in the pre-match press conference.

If the first leg of the semi-final saw a very tired looking Safawi trodding out onto the pitch against Selangor, he looked revitalised a week later in the second leg. With the medical faicilites available at JDT's disposal, they seemed to have great regenerative powers that enables their players to recover in a short space of time. Another week has past since the semi-final and there's every possibility that the team is in an even better shape.

The return to fitness of striker Diogo Luis Santo also puts The Southern Tigers in a very commanding position in today's final and Mora will be counting on the Brazilian to take full advantage of burly Renan Alves' absence in the heart of Kedah's defence as he looks to emulate Ullises Morais' achievement of leading JDT to a Malaysia Cup triumph.

 

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Kapten @hariss14 pernah bersama Aidil Sharin di @homeunited_fc pada 2017. . Hariss on facing his former coach while on loan at Home United two season ago. . #JDT #PialaMalaysia2019 #KEDJDT #Kedah #Hariss

A post shared by Goal Malaysia (@goal_malaysia) on Nov 1, 2019 at 3:11am PDT