PETALING JAYA: Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) coach Benjamin Mora was a picture of gratitude after his side claimed a comfortable 3-0 win over Kedah to lift the Malaysia Cup.
Goals from Leandro Velazquez (27th minute), Safawi Rasid (34th) and Syafiq Ahmad (57th) enabled the Super League champions to clinch their second silverware this year at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday.
The Red Eagles were without defenders Renan Alves and Rizal Ghazali, who were suspended. There was more setback for Kedah after striker Fernando Rodriguez was benched in the 11th minute due to an injury.
Mora credited the Malaysia Cup victory to JDT owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim for his relentless support while also thanking the players and coaching staff for their tireless efforts throughout the season.
“I feel proud to be part of the JDT project as I have been able to guide a bunch of spectacular players to win trophies including the Malaysia Cup, ” said Mora at the post-match press conference.
“Kedah struggled up front as they were without a few key players. This situation gave us an edge to control the game and we didn’t let Kedah play the way they want to, ” said the Mexican coach.
“We played a simple game and did what we need to do very well. We were very focused and consistent because the players know what they needed to do but this was not an easy win for us.”
Kedah coach Aidil Sharin conceded that the combination of losing three key players and the quality of JDT made the difference in the match.
“It’s not easy to play against a team with quality players such as JDT while we ourselves were without three important players... the rain and soggy pitch also hampered our preparations, ” said Aidil, who guided Kedah to the FA Cup in July.
“But that’s not an excuse and most importantly, we had a good journey this season winning the FA Cup and reaching the Malaysia Cup final... I’m happy for the players because although they lost, they’ve given their everything.”
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