Kedah's Baddrol Bakhtiar vows to keep Malaysia Cup away from JDT
Three-time Malaysia Cup winner Baddrol Bakhtiar is determined that Asia's oldest major sports' trophy will remain at Kedah.
The defending champions will face Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) in the 2017 final at Shah Alam Stadium on Nov. 4.
Baddrol helped Kedah reach a third consecutive showpiece after his side disposed of Felda United 2-0 in their second-leg semifinal last Saturday for a 3-1 aggregate victory.
As one of the most experienced members of the team, the international midfielder knows all about big-game pressure and is determined to win a third trophy of 2017, having picked up January's Charity Shield and the FA Cup in May.
"JDT are a strong side in the country as they have good import players and many players who are technically adept," Baddrol told Berita Harian.
"But for us, this a challenge in football. We will stick to our football philosophy and continue to prove that this Kedah side are an elite force to be reckoned with."
Baddrol's experience will once again prove crucial for Kedah, having been part of the treble-winning sides of 2007 and 2008 under Azraai Khor.
The one-club man also boasts plenty of big-game influence that could be decisive against Ulisses Morais' men.
The 29-year-old bagged a double and laid on an assist for Ken Ilso for a 3-2 win against Pahang in May's FA Cup final, which offered them a spot in the AFC Cup next season.
Defending the Malaysia Cup will be pivotal for Kedah, who are set to lose a few big names next season.
Ken Ilso and Zac Anderson will be playing their last games in the final after confirming their departure last month, and striker Syafiq Ahmad is also likely to follow them out the door.
Kedah and JDT will face off in the final league fixture in Alor Setar on Saturday before the showdown at Shah Alam Stadium a week later.
League winners JDT will be gunning to dethrone them at Malaysia Cup champions after only making a second Malaysia Cup final.
The Southern Tigers put in a strong second-half performance against Perak in the second-leg semifinal to win 3-0, and progress 4-1 on aggregate.
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