Pahang FA midfielder Safuwan Baharudin admits he’s a natural in the air after scoring the last gasp equalizer against Johor Darul Ta’zim in the Malaysia Cup first-leg quarterfinals on Sunday, and rallied for more of the same in the second-leg.
“It’s one of the qualities that I have. I’m not trying to boast, but it’s natural for me. I want to thank God for giving me this aerial ability, and I had good timing and power to score. Credit to the boys who fought until the end. That goal could be crucial in Larkin,” said Safuwan after the 1-1 draw.
With Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Patrick Cruz and Austin Amutu all struggling to breach the defending champions, it was left to Safuwan to conjure up the vital equalizer.
The Singaporean midfielder outjumped Aidil Zafuan to head past an onrushing Farizal Marlias to score in the second minute of added time.
Gonzalo Cabrera had given JDT a 46th minute lead, thanks to a well taken finish.
Pahang are still very much in this contest thanks to Safuwan’s equalizer.
If they are playing to form in the Malaysia Cup, then the Elephants would be optimistic of slaying the Southern Tigers in the return-leg this Saturday.
While their home form has been poor, Pahang have won all their away matches in the Malaysia Cup so far.
They started off with a 2-0 win over Selangor FA, before edging PKNP FC 1-0.
Dollah Salleh’s men then ended the group stage with a 4-0 thumping of Sabah FA.
Safuwan’s goal would give them more belief of getting a win at Larkin, seeing they had already beaten JDT in the FA Cup quarterfinals in June.
JDT have also not been solid defensively in the Malaysia Cup.
They only conceded nine goals in the league, but have already leaked in eight goals in this tournament.
With everything to play for, Pahang will be hoping to keep their interest in the Malaysia Cup alive after Saturday.
Photo Credit: Pahang FA