Malaysia Cup: KL City FC happy to be underdogs in final, says head coach | Sports

Kuala Lumpur City FC head coach Bojan Hodak speaks at a pre-match press conference in Kuala Lumpur, November 29, 2021. With him is Muhammad Shukor Adan. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — Kuala Lumpur (KL) City FC head coach Bojan Hodak is comfortable with his team wearing the underdog tag as they embark on their mission to dethrone mighty Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in the Malaysia Cup 2021 final.

Hodak, who coached JDT in 2014, said on paper the Southern Tigers were the favourites to lift the trophy in the 100th edition of the tournament but an upset could not be ruled out at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil here tomorrow night.

In fact, the 50-year-old Croatian feels that this situation may work to the advantage of KL City FC as they will be playing without much pressure.

“I know there will be a lot of problems. Both teams are tight especially us because we don’t have two squads; we don’t have 10 foreigners like them. This will be a physical problem for us but in this match, nobody can be tired; everybody will go all out and give their maximum.

“I hope it will be a good game and hope to get a positive result. There is no pressure on our side because they are the richest club. They have 10 times bigger budget, the best players and facilities, so for us there is really no pressure,” he said in a pre-match press conference here today.

Hodak also believes that local fans will be rooting for KL City FC, formerly known as Kuala Lumpur FA, to win the trophy which they last lifted in 1989.

“Everybody is expecting them to win but probably the rest of Malaysia will be supporting us because we are the underdogs and it’s really easy to play,” he said, adding that only D. Kenny Pallraj and Zhafri Yahya are doubtful starters as they are recovering from injuries.

Meanwhile, KL City FC’s Muhammad Shukor Adan, the oldest player in the tournament, said winning the trophy would be a perfect retirement gift for him.

Muhammad Shukor, a former national player, said he never expected to grace the Malaysia Cup final stage again after having played in several finals.

“At the age of 42, I never expected to play in the final and I’m grateful to Bojan for believing in me although I have not had much match time.

 “This final will be my last match as a footballer and I’m proud to be part of KL City FC this season,” he said.

JDT, who were formed in 2013, won the Malaysia Cup in 2017 and 2019 while this is KL City FC’s first final since their establishment last year.

Kuala Lumpur FA won the trophy in 1987, 1988 and 1989, beating Kedah on all three occasions. — Bernama

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