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Wednesday August 28, 2013 MYT 4:13:00 PM
Wednesday August 28, 2013 MYT 4:15:48 PM
by joseph kaos jr
JDT's Safee Sali tries to go past T-Team's Mazlizam Mohamed during their Malaysia Cup match on Aug 27, 2013. Safee scored goals in two of JDT's matches.
KUALA TERENGGANU: Despite starting off with a defeat in their Malaysia Cup opener, Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) now seem to have found their rhythm.
The Southern Tigers have won their past two consecutive matches and are currently placed second in Group B, on course for qualification to the next stage.
Head coach Azmi Mohamed praised his players for their commitment and for keeping their heads up despite their 2-0 defeat to high-flying PKNS FC in their first match.
“I am very satisfied with the team’s recent performances. I think we have found our rhythm. Safee Sali and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, especially, are linking well in attack,” said Azmi, after the the 3-2 thriller between JDT and T-Team on Tuesday night.
National striker Safee was unimpressive for JDT in the Super League, but the “million-ringgit striker” is in lethal form again - scoring goals in back-to-back matches, including one with a bicycle kick against T-Team.
“Safee has worked very hard and you can see he is improving game after game. If he plays well for his club, it is also a boost for the national side,” said Azmi, who was a top striker himself in the 1990s.
Azmi also praised 19-year-old Hadin Azman, who was also on the scoresheet against T-Team.
“Hadin is one for the future. He has been very impressive of late and today he scored a goal. He deserves a spot in Ong Kim Swee’s (Harimau Muda) side,” he said.
Leading Group B with nine points is PKNS, who have won all three matches so far. JDT is second with six points, T-Team in third with three points while Felda Utd is bottom of the group with no points to show.
But Terengganu-based T-Team will not call it a day yet and its newly-appointed assistant coach Azlan Johar believes the Titans can pull a surprise against JDT when they visit Larkin Stadium this Saturday.
“Our team have no superstars, yet I believe we have matched JDT and could have drawn the match if we had more time. This was also despite playing with 10-men following Saiful Mustafa’s sending off,” said Azlan, a former national player.
Azlan added that T-Team will be boosted by the return of former English Premier League star George Boateng from suspension.
“We will ensure George is fit for JDT. Our record away from home in the Malaysia Cup is good and it is not impossible for us to pull a surprise in Johor Baru,” he said.
Tags / Keywords:
football, Malaysia Cup, Safee Sali, Azmi Mohamed, Johor Darul Takzim, JDT, Hadin Azman, George Boateng
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