ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) scored in each half to beat Kedah Darul Aman FC (KDA FC) 2-0 and retain the Charity Shield for the fourth straight season in a game played behind closed doors at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium here last night.
Goals from Muhammad Safawi Rasid (34th minute) and Spanish import Natxo Insa (67th) were enough for the Southern Tigers to claim the title for the sixth time since 2015.
The 2021 Malaysia League (M-League) season-opening victory also handed JDT their first three points as they embark on a mission of making history by claiming the Super League title for an eighth consecutive time this year.
Benjamin Mora however believed his players were not firing on all cylinders in the victory over Kedah.
“I don’t think we are at 100 per cent. This is a very, very good start but I think they can give a lot more. It would be a nice year because they are motivated and still hungry. You can see the players pressing like crazy whenever they lost the ball.
Mora added that it is normal for any teams not performing their best game in early stage of the season.
“Kedah (also) did not give their 100 per cent I can assure you. JDT too are not at 100 per cent, but we will get there soon (despite the short pre-season),” he said at after the match.
Meanwhile, Kedah coach Aidil Sharil Sahak admitted that they lost to a better team, but was full of praised for his players.
“The boys have done very well here with an all-local back four. But, we have to accept that JDT were the better team. They are strong at their home ground and they also have many good players. We also did not have Renan (Renan da Silva) tonight… but that’s not an excuse. I have to accept the defeat and we have to move on from here,” he said.
After a short pre-season training, he plans to whip his team into shape so that they would be competitive and achieve the best results possible.
“Of course, we’re going to improve game by game… there are a few players who will be returning to the side,” he said. – Bernama