Kelantan and Terengganu look good but Perlis, Negri breathing fire
By ERIC SAMUEL
PETALING JAYA: Kelantan and Terengganu look good to make a historic Malaysia Cup final showdown.
And Kelantan coach B. Sathianathan is looking forward to the two teams meeting in a final for the first time since the inception of the tournament in 1921.
And the teams out to prevent it from happening at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Nov 7 are Perlis and Negri Sembilan.
“An east coast final is long overdue but to get past the semi-finals stage will not be easy,” said Sathianathan, whose side will play against Perlis in the semi-final first-leg match at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Baru tonight.
Nizaruddin: Super League Golden Boot winner could prove to be handful for Kelantan“We should make full use of the home ground advantage if we are to make a strong claim to get into the final.”
The Red Warriors are seeking to win their first major silverware in senior level Malaysian football and they can count on their passionate fans to drive them on to get a good result against the Northern Lions.
And they have players in Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Mohd Norfarhan Mohd, Azlan Ahmad, Khalid Jamlus and Nazrul Erwan Makmur to help them mount strong challenges.
Cash-strapped Perlis have defied the odds to come this far in the competition. The Northern Lions with only a handful of seniors, led by Super League Golden Boot winner Mohd Nizaruddin Yusop, Fauzie Nan and Chan Wing Hoong, should pose a serious threat.
“This Perlis football team are for the future and to have made it this far under hard times speaks volumes of the players’ commitment,” said Nizaruddin.
Terengganu coach Ken Worden believes that the Turtles are full of fire after having dumped favourites and 33-time winners Selangor in the quarter-finals (2-2 aggregate, 5-4 on penalties).
“I once said they were schoolboys and I am absolutely proud of them now. They are Turtles with heads of the Tiger,” he said.
But Terengganu face another Herculean task against a consistent Negri at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi tonight.
The Negri side under Wan Jamak Wan Hassan are on hot streak in the Cup campaign, winning all eight matches thsu far. They even beat Terengganu twice in Group B (1-0, away and 2-0, home).
“The semi-final is a different ball game and we will not under-rate Terengganu,” said Wan Jamak.
Negri have a good mix of seasoned and promising talent in their side, led by Mohd Shukor Adan, Idris Karim, Rezal Zambery Yahaya, Mohd Zaquan Adha Abdul Razak, Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak, S. Kunalan and Hairuddin Omar, who is on loan from T-Team Terengganu.