Southern Tigers glad to have injury-free squad against Turtles in final


Best foot forward: Terengganu players going through their drills in training ahead of the Malaysia Cup final against JDT tomorrow. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) are just a match away from a ‘double quadruple’ but they are keeping cool on their chances against Terengganu in the Malaysia Cup final tomorrow.

With the Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup (Charity Shield), FA Cup and Super League titles all wrapped up, JDT just have to extend their unbeaten run for the season by successfully retaining the Malaysia Cup trophy at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

A lot will depend on the tactical planning of JDT manager Esteban Solari to seize the upper hand in the final Malaysia Cup showdown.

JDT are making their fourth straight final appearance while it will be the first for the Turtles in a Malaysia Cup final since 2018 when they lost 1-4 on penalties to Perak.

The only time Terengganu were champions was in 2001 when they defeated Perak 2-1.

JDT look to be the favourites given their overall strength in every department but Solari is taking a humble approach and considers the final against Tomislav Steinbruckner’s squad to be a very challenging one.

“The final is different from the Super League competition since it is only held for one match.

“How we play through the 90 minutes of the game will determine who will emerge victorious.

“It’s a match that will be of high intensity play and I’m relieved after the action against Pahang that none of our players suffered injuries. This helps me to focus on making thorough preparations for the final.”

In two clashes involving JDT and Terengganu in the Super League this year, Solari’s squad won 2-0 in February and won again 3-1 in the opponent’s venue in June.

Terengganu also lost 1-3 to JDT in the FA Cup final last year.

Meanwhile, Terengganu coach Steinbruckner is optimistic that his team will not be under severe pressure in facing JDT.

“We know the quality of JDT individual players is better than ours. JDT also have a second team who are very good. If they put the second team in the first eleven it’s not a problem for them.

“But how many times in history that we have a favourite team and finally another team win a competition? Maybe we can make a surprise,” he said at the team’s training session at Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium (SSMZA) here yesterday.

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