David Beckham meets with TMJ, congratulates JDT on MSL success
Four-time Malaysian league champions Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) received a boost in their quest to win the 2017 Malaysia Cup after meeting with Manchester United legend David Beckham, who congratulated the club on their latest league success.
The former England captain was in Kuala Lumpur on Friday as guest for insurance giants AIA to promote healthy living. Beckham's Asian tour also included Hong Kong and Singapore.
"Great to meet TMJ [the team's royal owner] last night. Great dinner with him and my friend Peter Lim and congratulations to his team the Johor Southern Tigers on the championship," Beckham posted on his official Instagram page.
The 42-year-old's message of support comes after the Southern Tigers had sparked massive title celebrations in Johor after they thrashed Kelantan 3-0 in the MSL on Wednesday.
Ulisses Morais' men will welcome Melaka United to Larkin Stadium for the Malaysia Cup second-leg on Sunday, holding a 4-1 advantage from last weekend.
Despite being almost certain of a semifinals berth, the Portuguese coach will be focused on making sure his side maintain the same winning momentum.
"Our focus now is only to the Malaysia Cup. We know we have a good result from the first-leg, but we respect Melaka and will not take anything for granted," Morais said after the Kelantan win.
"We might make some changes for this game. We have some players who are playing all the time, and we may bring on some fresh legs. We want to win the Malaysia Cup, but first we must try to beat Melaka at home."
Morais may stick to the likes of Junior Eldstal and Gary Steven Robbat for this match. The experienced pair are easing their way back to competitive action after being on the sidelines for much of the season.
Former midfielder Eldstal has done well to slot into central defence, while Gary marked his starting comeback with a goal against Selangor in the Malaysia Cup group stage.
Unlike previous editions, JDT are taking this tournament seriously and have fielded their best players, including Mohammed Ghaddar and the Argentine duo Gabriel Guerra and Gonzalo Cabrera.
For struggling Melaka, the mission may be on damage limitation, by preventing JDT from inflicting a defeat like the 7-0 MSL loss in April.
All second-leg quarterfinals will take place on Sunday.
Kedah host Selangor, armed with a 3-2 advantage, while Pahang travel to Perak with a 3-1 lead.
Second-tier PKNP FC are also in contention for a last four berth as they make the trip to Felda United with a 3-1 advantage.
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