Talking points: Tackles galore as Kedah break JDT’s domestic dominance

Kedah handed Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) their first 2016 defeat in Malaysian competition following a 2-1 home win in the FA Cup semi-final first-leg. Vijhay Vick lists his observations from the match…

Southern Tigers cede midfield battle

Safiq Rahim and Hariss Harun are among the best in Southeast Asia and often win the engine room battle with ease, domestically at the very least.

But on Saturday, Kedah’s midfield trio of Liridon Krasniqi, Sandro da Silva Mendonca and Amirul Hisyam Awang Kechik – playing deeper than usual – did not allow room for the Malaysia and Singapore captain to dictate play, forcing JDT to the flanks more often where Baddrol Bakhtiar and Farhan Roslan had little trouble helping full-backs Rizal Ghazali and Azmeer Yusof on numerous occasions.

Kedah’s first-half goals by Farhan and Sandro came as a result of their dominance, but the Red Eagles were unlucky to concede on the break as Juan Martin Lucero’s 28th-minute strike deflected off Rizal.