Nunez inspires Darul Takzim to Selangor win

Darul Takzim booked their place in the semi-finals of the Malaysia FA Cup after beating Selangor 4-2 on penalties following a 3-3 aggregate draw.

Selangor vs Johor Darul Takzim
Gabriel Tan

By Gabriel Tan

New signing Leonel Nunez was the star of the show for Harimau Selatan with a well-taken brace, while goalkeeper Al-Hafiz Hamzah also played a key part with an important save in the shootout.

Heading into Tuesday's game at the Shah Alam Stadium trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Darul Takzim's hopes of a comeback looked well and truly over when they fell behind in the 28th minute after Mahalli Jasuli raced through down the right and clinically fired into the bottom corner.

However, Nunez, who only days ago played down comparisons with the man he was bought to replace - ex-Spain international Dani Guiza - made it 1-1 on the night six minutes after the hour mark when he pounced on a poor clearance and unleashed a brilliant strike arrowing into the back of the net.

Three minutes from time, the Argentine levelled the aggregate scores with another wonderful effort, picking up possession and cutting inside S. Veenod before blasting a left-footed drive past a hapless Norazlan Razali.

With neither side able to find another goal in extra-time, the tie proceeded to the dreaded penalties and Darul Takzim soon claimed the upper hand as Nunez, Safee Sali and Andrezinho all successfully converted, while Mahalli missed and K. Gurusamy saw his effort saved by Al-Hafiz after Asraruddin Putra Omar had netted their opening spot-kick.

It left Amri Yahyah with the task of keeping the Red Giants in the tie with their fourth penalty, and although he managed to convert, their hopes were ended moments later when Farid Ramli scored to send Fandi Ahmad's side through to the last four.

Next in line for them are Pahang, who beat Sime Darby 2-0 at the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang Stadium to progress 2-0 on aggregate.

Following a goalless first half, new Argentine signing Matias Conti broke the deadlock in the 76th minute with a cracking effort from the edge of the box, before doubling his and his side's tally with a close-range header four minutes later to seal their place in the semi-finals.

Defending champions Kelantan kept alive their hopes of retaining the FA Cup after a 2-0 win at Sarawak saw them advance 4-1 on aggregate.

Having claimed a narrow 2-1 lead in the first leg at the Sultan Mohammad IV Stadium, Tuesday's return encounter in Kuching had the potential to be slightly tricky.

But the Red Warriors' nerves were settled 19 minutes in when experienced forward Indra Putra Mahayuddin broke the offside trap and lobbed the onrushing Sani Anuar Kamsani to score, before Norfarhan Muhammad added a second on the half-hour mark when he swept home Farisham Ismail's cross to wrap up the win.

Their semi-final opponents will be Terengganu, whose 3-0 triumph over Negri Sembilan completed a 6-1 aggregate victory, setting up what will be an eagerly-anticipated East Coast derby.

The Turtles took the lead at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium in the 30th minute when Ashaari Shamsuddin lashed home an incisive through-pass by Jean-Emmanuel Effa Owona, who then made it 2-0 ten minutes after the break when he pounced on a loose ball and emphatically sent the ball into the back of the net.

By then, the hosts had all but sealed their last-four berth but just for good measure, Effa Owona added a third from the spot in the 70th minute to pile more misery on Negri Sembilan, who are currently bottom of the Malaysia Super League.

Tuesday's Malaysia FA Cup Quarter-final 2nd Leg Results

Sime Darby 0-2 Pahang (0-2 on agg.)

Terengganu 3-0 Negri Sembilan (6-1 on agg.)

Sarawak 0-2 Kelantan (1-4 on agg.)

Selangor 1-2 Darul Takzim (3-3 on agg., 2-4 on penalties)

comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update