Patrick Cruz hat-trick sees Pahang dump JDT out of Malaysia FA Cup

Nicolas Anil Nicolas Anil

Pahang produced a masterclass to come away with a 3-0 win over Johor Darul Ta’zim at the Larkin Stadium to take their place in the Malaysia FA Cup semifinals.

Patrick Cruz fired a hat-trick to take Pahang FA into the Malaysia FA Cup semifinals after a dominant 3-0 win over Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) at Larkin Stadium, ending the home side’s four-year unbeaten home record.

The last time JDT had lost at their fortress was in 2015 to Felda United in the Malaysia Cup, but this defeat will come as a hammer blow considering the magnitude of the defeat.

PKNP FC joins Pahang in the last four after they edged Felda United FC on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

In Johor, Pahang needed to score goals to stand any chance of progressing to the semifinals, and they were beefed up by the return of Safuwan Baharuddin and Matthew Davies to the starting lineup.

JDT were also at full strength by their standards, with Gonzalo Cabrera, Safawi Rasid and Ahmad Hazwan Bakri spearheading a front three.\


Posted by JOHOR Southern Tigers on Friday, 20 April 2018


Cabrera fashioned the first chance of the match in the fifth minute, but lashed his shot just wide after good work from the left flank.

Pahang would take the lead only five minutes later through Cruz, who completed a speedy counter attack with a neat finish past Farizal Marlias after JDT’s ploy to play the high line backfired.

It was the first goal JDT had conceded since the season opener against Kedah in February.

Not only that, the Southern Tigers were being overrun in midfield, with Pahang creative man Nor Azam Abdul Azih instigating most of the visitors attack.

Azam did fashion a chance for Chan Vathanaka just before half-time, but the Cambodian could only direct a header that was palmed away by Farizal.

Tamat separuh masa kedua. Sukacita dimaklumkan bahawa skuad Tok Gajah berjaya melangkah ke separuh akhir Shopee Piala FA…

Posted by Pahang FA on Friday, 20 April 2018


The first half ended in Pahang’s favour, leaving the home side needing to score two goals to progress.

But it was Dollah Salleh’s men who doubled their advantage in the 58th minute through Cruz’s second of the night.

R.Kogileswaran’s penetrating run and cross left the Brazilian with the simplest finish to put the tie 2-0 on aggregate and almost beyond JDT’s reach.

Cruz completed his treble in the 76th minute with a neat finish past Farizal to put give the Elephants a well deserved triumph.

In the other game of the night, Shahrel Fikri’s brace for PKNP FC meanwhile condemned Felda United to a 2-1 defeat in the return leg, which was their first defeat of the season.

Felda had led 1-0 from the first leg, but they were undone through the national hopeful’s first-half brace.

The defeat leaves Premier League leaders Felda with only the league to focus on, but they will be hard pressed after throwing this tie away.

Saturday’s matches will see Kuala Lumpur FA host Selangor FA trailing 3-0, while Perak FA welcome the visit of PKNS FC hoping to overturn a 2-1 deficit.