PREMIER LEAGUE outfit Kedah reduced to nine players by the 83rd minute on a night of red cards – three in all –were soundly beaten 3-1 by star-studded Johor Darul Takzim in the first leg of their FA Cup quarterfinals at the Larkin Stadium last night.
The Red Eagles – as Kedah are now known as – are not too concerned with the result as they believe they can overturn the deficit at Alor Star’s Darul Aman Stadium next Tuesday.
However, before that match, they will have to play in the Premier League against Negri Sembilan on Friday.
“The (FA Cup) is not our priority … our priority is the (Premier) League. We have set our sights on a top two finish to earn promotion to the Super League,” Kedah coach David Mitchell told Sports247.my.
Kedah have played only two league matches – beating Perlis 4-1 at home and DRB Hicom 2-0 away – while their matches against Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP FC) and Felda United were postponed.
This Friday, Kedah face an inconsistent Negri. Kedah have to win to keep the pressure on leaders Police, who top the table with maximum points after winning three matches.
“The FA Cup takes a back seat for us. We have not even thought of the return leg. We want a positive result against Negri first.
“But let me remind you, teams fear coming to Kedah. I speak from experience. When I was playing for Selangor we feared going to Kedah. It is no different now.
“We are 3-1 down and I will throw in my young players to get experience playing a strong team with all the big names.
“Despite the defeat, I am pleased and happy with the commitment of my players. They did well under all circumstances. However, I must admit we don’t have enough depth on the bench.
“But, mark my words, it is going to be different in Alor Star.”
Billy Mehmet scored Kedah’s lone goal in Johor while Amri Yahya, Hariss Harun and Luciano Figuero scored for the Southern Tigers.