PETALING JAYA, Sept 29 – It is still too early if former Malaysian football kingpins Selangor can turn the tide around and keep their ‘Mission 34’ alive after a 2-1 defeat to East Coast powerhouse Terengganu in a Group B match at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak, Kuala Terengganu on Wednesday.
This is Selangor’s first defeat in the group after two matches. In the first match against relegated Perak FC at the Petaling Jaya Stadium on Tuesday (Sept 26), the Red Giants needed a late penalty for a 1-0 win over a makeshift Bos Gaurus.
Super League golden boot winner Ifedayo Olusegun scored the winner in the 80th minute.
Selangor’s German coach Karsten Neitzel has a lot to answer for the defeat against the Turtles.
For the record, the Red Giants, have lost all their three encounters against Terengganu so far this season after home and away defeats in the Super League.
Described as a ‘big club’ in Malaysian football until Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) wrested it with eighth successive Super League titles.
The Southern Tigers are also the defending Malaysia Cup champions after defeating Kedah 3-0 in the 2019 final.
Last year’s Malaysia Cup, which is 100 years old this year was cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Selangor is the most decorated team in the Malaysia Cup – the oldest football tournament in this region – winning the prestigious silverware a record 33 times and runners-up 16 times.
Neitzel promised a lot for the Klang Valley outfit but Selangor has not been able to deliver the goods under the German. His German DNA flopped and Selangor’s fifth place finish in the Super League speaks of the disappointment.
Terengganu is perched at the top of Group B in the Malaysia Cup with six points with Selangor second with three points. Relegated Perak is third with one point – ahead of Premier League’s Kuching City.
Ivory Coast striker Decil Marcel scored Terengganu’s opening goal in the 23rd minute before Lee Tuck added the second on 52 minutes. Ashmawi Yakin netted Selangor’s consolation goal in the 75th minute after he picked up a rebound from Terengganu goalkeeper Suhaimi Husin.
In another Group B encounter played at the Pasir Gudang Stadium, Perak battled to a 2-2 draw against Kuching City. Perak came back twice to share the spoils with goals by Adib Raop (penalty 50th) and Aizat Safuan (70th).
Kuching City, coached by Irfan Bakti, led twice with goals by Brazilian Hudson Dias (9th) and Alif Hassan (67th).