Defending Malaysia Cup champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) are set to face MIFA in the final Group C encounter without their suspended talisman defender Marcos Antonio, as they seek victory for qualification to the last eight.
Nothing but a win will suffice for the Southern Tigers, who are two points adrift from the top two spot which guarantees qualification.
JDT manager Luciano Figueroa is not perturbed by the mission, and vowed his men will come out guns blazing at the Petaling Jaya Stadium this Sunday.
“We cannot be worried about the group standings at the moment. I need to motivate my players to play to their abilities in this final group game. We are going to give it everything to try and make it out of this group,” Figueroa told Berita Harian.
JDT have surprisingly been below par in this competition.
They started off the campaign with a 1-0 loss to MIFA at home, before bouncing back to thrash Kedah FA 5-1.
Kelantan inflicted their second group defeat with a 1-0 win, but JDT won by the same margin when both teams met a week later.
The 3-1 defeat to Kedah on August 31 looked to have derail their hopes, but JDT are certainly not down and out.
Almost all their starters are well rested for this match, with Safawi Rasid, Fernando Marquez and Gonzalo Cabrera set to be entrusted to do the damage upfront.
In central defence, Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak could partner Fadhli Shas.
JDT will also face a MIFA side who are without their top scorer Kpah Sherman, who is suspended after picking up a direct red card in the 2-2 draw against Kedah.
Without Sherman, L’Imam Seydi could operate in an advanced role, along with J. Satrunan Pillai.
Group C is the only one left without a quarterfinalist, with all four teams still capable of making it to the last eight.
For Kelantan though, it will be impossible.
They need to defeat Kedah with a big scoreline, having only scored one goal in the competition.
Photo Credit: Johor DT