KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 – Sometime in September the Terengganu FC management issued a show cause letter to head coach Nafuzi Zain after defeats to Kedah (1-2), Kuala Lumpur City FC and Johor Darul Takzim by 1-0 margins in the Super League.
It was lack of professionalism on the part of the Terengganu FC management but the timing was also a “stupid” in many ways.
The Turtles eventually finished a poor fourth following a 2-2 draw against Penang on the last day of the league competition.
The match against Penang at the City Stadium saw Terengganu miss a penalty and had a goal disallowed against the Panthers who reduced to 10-men after Latif Suhaimi was given a direct red card.
The fourth placing was not only ”painful” to Terengganu FC but also costly as the Turtles missed the boat for the AFC Cup.
For the record Terengganu qualified for the AFC Cup last season but the coronavirus pandemic forced the tournament to be cancelled.
However, the AFC Cup dream is on again for the East Coast giants.  And the Turtles have gone great guns in the Malaysia Cup competition which is the passport to their AFC Cup participation.
The Malaysia Cup, which is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year, champions will carry the nation’s flag in the AFC Cup.
Malaysian Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT), will compete in the AFC Champions League while runners-up Kedah will play in the AFC Cup.
Terengganu has set a hot place in the Group B in the Malaysia Cup. The Turtles are unbeaten after four matches and top the group with 12 points.
On Wednesday, Terengganu whipped Perak 4-0 at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak, Kuala Terengganu.
Also qualifying the knockout stage from the group is Selangor FC with nine points following a 2-1 win over Kuching City FC at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Bahru.
Perak and Kuching City, with one point each and with only two more matches remaining, are out of the Malaysia Cup.
Terengganu, showed that they are strong contenders in the Malaysia Cup. Goals by Mali striker Makan Konate (13th), Brazilian David Da Silva (19th),  Ivory Coast’s Dechi  Marcel (26th) and Faisal Halim (62, penalty), completed the scoring the East Coast side.
It was a hard fought win Selangor with Danial Asri (18th) and Nik Muhammad Syarif (90th) as the scorers for the Red Giants. Kuching City scored through Ijezie Chukwubunna in the 67th minute.

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