The second edition of the Unity Shield, a pre-season tournament that pits Kedah and Perak saw the latter emerging as the winners this time around after the former had won the inaugural version in 2019. Goals from Shahrul Saad, Shahrel Fikri and Raianderson da Costa Morais gave the home side a 3-1 win with Kpah Sherman's goal proving to be nothing but scant consolation for the visitors.
While the defeat doesn't quite set the alarm bells ringing given that this was a glorified friendly match, Aidil Sharin took plenty of notes with his team's performance and he will be looking for improvements before their proper start to the season which will see them facing up against Johor Darul Ta'zim at the brand new Sultan Ibrahim Stadium on 28 February.
"As I said before the game, we are playing against a strong team. We know how Perak plays and the goal that we conceded, we could have defended better but we didn't settle down in the first 10 minutes. Then it was the same towards the last 10 minutes of the game.
"But overall the boys did well, they worked hard in front of a very good atmosphere. This is a good lesson for us to wake up before we play JDT. I think we needed this and hopefully we can learn and do better. As a coach, that's my job to motivate the players and the team. What we want is to wake up tomorrow and tell ourselves that we have to be better than what we did yesterday.
"When we lose a game, we cannot say that we did well. So we'll have to find out where our problems were and rectify it because JDT is a strong team. Everyone knows they are another level in Malaysia. We have to get things right and play as a team," said Aidil after the match.
Coincidentally both Kedah and JDT suffered heavy losses on their recent Asian adventures in the AFC Champions League qualifier and group stage respectively. Both will be looking to show that they have learnt from the experience and that makes the Super League encounter which also doubled up as the Charity Shield a potentially very interesting affair.
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