Analysis

Winners and Losers: Who turned up and who didn’t for this year’s Malaysia Cup final?

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) won the Malaysia Cup for the first time after defeating Kedah 2-0 at Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday. FourFourTwo lists players that turned up and those that may not be too pleased with themselves after the 2017 season finale.

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WHO TURNED UP?

Natxo Insa, JDT

The highest profile player on pitch, he was arguably the best performer among the 22 that took the field too.

Insa dominated the midfield and ran the show for the Southern Tigers as they won the engine room battle. There were not many moments of individual brilliances taking on opponents, but Insa was at the centre of almost every move and opened up Kedah with his passes.

He was FourFourTwo’s man of the match.

Gonzalo Gabriel Cabrera, JDT

The Argentine picked up the official man of the match award after the votes by the press were tallied.

The left-sided flanker troubled Rizal Ghazali all night and got a goal with a half volley that hit the post on its way in to double JDT’s lead.

Like Insa, Cabrera was very involved in JDT’s attacks.

Cabrera proved too strong for Ghazali, who appears a little lower

Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak, JDT

The centre-back was not even expected to start after appearing to drop down the pecking order this year.

Yet he was selected ahead of Junior Edlstal, a regular in previous important matches, alongside Fadhli Shas.

Aidil had lost his place in the line-up to Fadhli early in the season, but he reminded everyone what he had to offer by heading in the opening goal after just three minutes.

Aidil had a good game before being taken off at the hour mark after seeking treatment on the sidelines. He was not happy with the change, telling coach Ulisses Morais he was still OK to play.

Gary Steven Robbat, JDT

Another surprise starter but it is easy to understand why Robbat got the nod ahead of Afiq Fazail.

Robbat is a tough tackler and adds a physical presence compared to Afiq, who is a better distributor of the ball.

Robbat ensured there was no way through JDT’s midfield as he closed down the likes of Sandro da Silva and Liridon Krasniqi.

He was taken off in the 57th minute due to a hamstring tear but it was after a job well done.

Ken llso, Kedah

The Danish forward was perhaps Kedah’s best player on the pitch.

He didn’t get on the scoresheet but he kept going at the JDT defenders, constantly troubling them and threatening to break free with his speed.

Ilso was often left to fend on his own and could have benefitted from better delivery.

Natxo and Ilso shone for their clubs

[NEXT: Who would like to have their time over again?]