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Friday October 4, 2013 MYT 5:56:00 PM
Friday October 4, 2013 MYT 5:57:53 PM
by eric samuel
The biggest challenge for JDT is to stop Kelantan’s burly striker Dickson Nwakaeme of Nigeria.
PETALING JAYA: The heat is on Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) in Kota Baru on Saturday night.
The big spenders hold a comfortable two-goal cushion (4-2) going into the return leg of the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals against defending champions Kelantan at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium but JDT’s caretaker coach Azmi Mohamed is well aware of the Red Warriors’ outstanding reputation at home.
“One thing for sure, we can expect a hot reception in Kota Baru. The fans will definitely play a key role to boost the home team. But we are not going to be intimidated by them at all. We have a good two-goal lead and the pressure will be on the home side to deliver in front of their fans,” said Azmi.
The former international said the battle in the engine room will also be the telling factor, which will decide on the team to advance to the semi-finals. JDT will be powered by national skipper Safiq Rahim and Nurul Azwan Roya while Kelantan will be banking on inspirational playmaker Mohd Badhri Radzi and the seasoned Indra Putra Mahayuddin.
“There is no doubt that the match will be an explosive one. We expect Kelantan to come charging at us from the whistle. If we can contain them in the opening 30 minutes, then, half the battle is won,” said Azmi, who believes the biggest challenge is to stop Kelantan’s burly striker Dickson Nwakaeme of Nigeria.
Last year’s Malaysia Cup hero Indra Putra, who scored the winner in Kelantan’s 3-2 win over Armed Forces in extra-time, said that the battle is far from over.
“We were just unlucky not to have won the first leg against JDT in Larkin. We had many sitters which we failed to convert and we are now paying a heavy price trailing by two goals. But that does not mean we don’t have a chance to bounce back. I have been in Kelantan for a long time now and I know the capabilities of this team. It is not an impossible task to come back,” said Indra.
Kelantan won the treble last season, and have retained the FA Cup title this season.
Tags / Keywords:
football, Malaysia Cup, JDT, Johor Darul Takzim, Kelantan, Azmi Mohamed, Red Warriors
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