Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) midfielder Hariss Harun vows to help the team to lift the continental trophy this season.
The Southern Tigers are through to the Oct 31 showpiece, after Fifa suspended the Kuwait FA (KFA) on Friday for government interference.
As a result, Kuwaiti teams are banned from international competitions, which means that AFC Cup semi-finalists Al-Qadsia and Al-Kuwait, who beat JDT 3-1 and Tajikistan’s Istiklol 4-0 in the respective first-leg encounters, were eliminated by walkovers.
JDT will face Istiklol in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe for the AFC Cup title; the hosts were determined by a draw held after the quarter-finals were determined.
Hariss said: “I’m very proud of this achievement for JDT and for myself, especially to reach a major final in my first AFC club competition.
“There were rumours of the Kuwait FA’s problems, but still the walkover came as a surprise.
“You can say we are lucky because we were down 3-1 from the first leg.
“But we had the away goal, a good home record for a fightback, and these things are not within our control.
“I was in the national squad when we went to Dushanbe for a World Cup qualifier in Nov 2007.
“It was cold and hostile then and the pitch was brown, although the Malaysian boys who went for an international friendly last year said they have an artificial pitch now.
“Regardless, now that we are in the final, we want to win it.”
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