IPOH: Defending Malaysia Cup champions Kedah are walking on thin ice.
Head coach Mohamed Nidzam Adzha’s (pic) bid to retain the prestigious title could be derailed by the suspensions of two key players.
The former international is aware that they still have work to do after Felda United held them to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Malaysia Cup semi-finals at the Tun Abdul Razak Stadium in Jengka, Pahang, on Sunday.
Brazilian midfielder Sandro Mendonca scored for Kedah through a penalty in the 62nd minute before Felda’s Mohd Hadin Azman nodded in the equaliser in the 88th minute.
Nidzam said he will miss stalwarts, Kosovon midfielder Liridon Krasniqi and skipper cum centreback Khairul Helmi Johari – when Kedah host the return leg at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar on Saturday.
“It is bad enough to miss two of my key players for Saturday’s game. But that’s not all. I have another headache because I’ve another four regulars with bookings, too.
“If they pick up another card they will not be available if we qualify for the final,” said a concerned Nidzam.
The four are Mendonca, Danish striker Ken Ilso, Amirul Hisyam Awang Kechik and defender Rizal Ghazali.
Nidzam added: “The contest is far from over. Felda are real fighters and they lived up to their name with a late equaliser.
“I think it is a fair result. I know my boys can get the job done at home. It will be difficult, especially for the players with bookings. But this is the risk we have to take. What is important is to get to the final first.”