KEDAH LOOM LARGE IN FINAL
Nidzam’s men to wear favourite tag in FA Cup
KEDAH were immediately installed as favourites for the FA Cup final against Pahang next Saturday after steamrolling Terengganu 4-0 on aggregate in the semifinals.
Terengganu coach Irfan Bakti Abu Salim admitted there was no way his Premier League side could have overcome their Super League opponents in the second leg in Kuala Terengganu on Saturday, which Kedah won 3-0.
With a host of regulars returning after being rested or suspended for their previous outing against PKNS, Kedah had the game under control and were rewarded with goals by Liridon Krasniqi, Ken Ilso and Sandro Mendonca.
“They deserve to win,” Irfan told TV9after the match at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium. “We lost the game in midfield where we allowed Sandro, Krasniqi and Baddrol Bakhtiar too much freedom.
“Most of my players became ball-watchers. We also lack a proven goal scorer even if Federico Falcone had played tonight. The second goal really killed us due to individual mistakes which should not have happened.
“For a lot of my players, this is the first time they played at this level. But we will try again. Looking at how Kedah played, I think they will win the final.”
Kedah face Pahang in the final, their first since 2010, at the Shah Alam Stadium and will be bidding to win the FA Cup for a fourth time.
Coach Nidzam Adzha Yusof said the plan to rest players against PKNS in the Super League last Tuesday, which they drew 4-4, proved to be the correct decision.
“We always planned to rest a few players against PKNS and looking back, it worked well,” said Nidzam, who remains unbeaten in three matches since replacing Tan Cheng Hoe as coach.
“All the players delivered today. We have a good record against Pahang so we will plan for the final later. I just want to thank the players and coaching staff for all their hard work in getting us to the final.”
Kedah captain Khairul Helmi Johari said: “We tried to play at our best because we know we have lost many times in the semifinals. So this year was a good chance to get to the final. Pahang are a very good team so we have to study their game. We will need to focus better.
“A week is enough to get prepared and allow those with injuries to recover.”
Kedah captain Khairul Helmi Johari