‘There were many babies around me’ says Kedah's Krasniqi after defeating JDT

Kedah playmaker Liridon Krasniqi was clearly not happy with the number of rough challenges last night, describing the Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) players as 'babies'.

Kept on guard and brought down often throughout the Malaysia Super League (MSL) opener against Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) on Friday, Krasniqi was perhaps lucky to escape the midfield battle unscathed.

The Southern Tigers knew Krasniqi was the pivot that gets Kedah ticking and seemed eager to neutralise the threat from the very beginning, with captain Safiq Rahim going unpunished for a rash challenge that could have earned the referee’s wrath.

The Red Eagles coach Tan Cheng Hoe praised the Kosovan for keeping his cool and not retaliating as Kedah went on to lift the Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup following a 5-4 shootout win.

“They tried to harass and provoke him during the game but I know Krasniqi … he has a strong character and showed just that to prevail,” said Tan.

Krasniqi was in an ecstatic mood after the match but that didn’t stop him from taking a hit at the JDT players, hinting they could not accept similar hard tackles.

“Sometimes I felt like there were many babies around me. I don’t care about it (being targeted) much, just played on to get what we came here for,” said Krasniqi when asked about the sometimes sinister tackles on him.

Krasniqi, however, refused to explain what exactly he meant, saying, “you understand it already … I don’t have to elaborate.”

The 25-year-old, however, was full of praises for JDT owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ), who after the match approached the Kedah fans as a sign of good gesture.

“JDT are a good team and it is an amazing feeling to lift this trophy at Larkin. This is my second Cup in Malaysia and hope there is more to come in the future.

“Many things are done professionally here. Malaysia needs more people like TMJ. It is good for football,” said Krasniqi.