The odds are stacked against Pahang and Kuala Lumpur ahead of their matches against the two Malaysian giants in the FA Cup.
The Malaysia FA Cup quarterfinals return leg is poised to serve up some tasty encounters, with most of the ties still evenly balanced. Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT)-Pahang FA could go either way with a goalless scoreline in the first leg, while Kuala Lumpur have vowed to storm back from a three-goal deficit against Selangor FA.
FOX Sports Asia previews the three talking points ahead of this weekend’s action.
KAMI MAHU TAMATKAN PERLAWANAN DENGAN KEMENANGAN BERPIHAK KEPADA KAMIPersiapan pasukan bertemu pasukan Pahang berada…
Pahang must beat JDT without first team stars
Hitting JDT with away goals early in the game would be Pahang’s main strategy of progressing to the semifinals. But they are facing an impenetrable force that have only conceded twice at home all season.
Not only that, JDT also boast an unbeaten home record that stretches back to 2015. But Dollah Salleh’s biggest concern will be the fact he has to navigate through this tie without several of his first team regulars.
In front of goal, he is without Francis Forkey Doe and a half-fit Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, with Patrick Cruz the only outright striker. While scoring will help Pahang, they must also contain the free flowing Southern Tigers who have already netted 16 times at Larkin Stadium.
Safawi Rasid, Gonzalo Cabrera and Ahmad Hazwan Bakri are all eager to add to their goal tally, which spells danger for the visitors. But if they can progress, Pahang will notch the result of the season to date.
Felda United to extend unbeaten record against PKNP
Having won all but one game this year, it’s easy to see another Felda United FC victory against PKNP FC firmly forthcoming.
The Premier League outfit hosts their top flight counterparts with a 1-0 lead from the first leg, courtesy of Thiago Augusto’s winner.
Felda’s tale is a story that exhibits their moniker ‘The Fighters’. Having finished third in the Malaysia Super League last year, Felda were unceremoniously relegated to the second division after failing to submit the required documents to secure their club licensing. But the management managed to convince the core of the squad to stay on, and they have been supreme with a five point lead in the Premier League. Another win against lackluster PKNP would not only earn them a semifinals berth, it would be a signal to the big boys that Felda are no pushovers.
Kuala Lumpur need the fans for miracle comeback
If Kuala Lumpur need any inspiration to overturn the 3-0 deficit against Selangor, they only need to reflect on the heroics of Roma and Juventus in the recent UEFA Champions League comebacks.
Both teams will reconvene again at the Cheras Stadium on Saturday to do battle in what is expected to be a full house. Selangor fans filled the stands in their first leg win, and Kuala Lumpur fans will hope for a tilt of support in their favour, especially with it being their home ground.
Besides a possible comeback, there could also be a side plot involving Selangor forward Amri Yahyah and Kuala Lumpur coach Fabio Maciel. Amri fell theatrically when Maciel placed his hands on the players neck at half-time, and as a result was sent to the stands. Amri kept mum when asked on the incident, but there could be more drama unfolding this weekend.