PETALING JAYA, Nov 23 – Defending champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) will ride on an away goal after holding Terengganu FC to a 1-1 draw in their first leg Malaysia Cup semi-finals at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak while Melaka United will be in a similar situation with a 1-1 stalemate against Kuala Lumpur City FC at the KLFA Stadium in Cheras on Monday.
The Turtles shocked the Southern Tigers after only eight minutes of play when Ghanaian Jordan Minta headed home past JDT goalkeeper Farizal Marlias at the near post after Lee Tuck had laid the groundwork with his skills to outwit his two markers.
JDT took time to settle down in the match but Gonzalo Cabrera, Bergson Da Silva and  Arif Aiman muffed the opportunities that came their way. Terengganu FC goalkeeper Suaimi Husin also frustrated JDT.
Brazilian Bergson finally ended the frustration on 51 minutes. Despite two markers on him, Bergson did enough to shrug them off and finished it with a stiff shot past Suhaimi.
“Of course we did not get what we aimed for…not to concede at home. However, this is football and we look towards to the return leg. The final is still open and it is left to us to work for it,” said Terengganu FC head coach Nafuzi Zain.
His JDT counterpart Benjamin Mora is confident that his team will get a positive result at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in the return leg this Friday.
”We should have sealed the match here (in Gong Badak) as we played better in the second half. It’s okay we will get the result in JB,” said the long-serving Mexican.
At the KLFA Stadium, KL City head coach Bojan Hodak said the draw against Melaka is a
”fair result” for his tired team on a heavy pitch.
KL City fell behind in the eighth minute when Brazilian Adriano Narcizo blasted home an unstoppable left footed freekick from outside the box.
KL goalkeeper Kevin Mendoza could only watch the ball hit the back of the net due to the power behind the shot.
Colombian hot-shot Romel Morales was marked man and was not given much room by the Melaka United backline. Goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (pic left) was also inspiring in his role for the visitors.
KL finally found the net in the 27th minute when skipper Paulo Josue sent perfect cross from the right for Zhafri Yahyah plant a glancing header past Khairul for the equaliser.
”We did well in defending but we lacked in attacking…there were less scoring chances from the team tonight,” said Melaka United head coach Zainal Abidin Hassan.
”Melaka need to rectify the shortcomings for the return leg this Friday. We will ride on the away goal for a positive outcome at home.”

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