PETALING JAYA, Nov 22 – It is the match that ”underdogs” Terengganu FC want to win badly – more so when the East Coast side is up against Johor Darul Takzim (JDT), the most consistent team in Malaysian football who have won the Super League title for an unprecedented eight times.
Monday’s first-leg Malaysia Cup semi-final to be played at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak, Kuala Terengganu has become the football talk in the country and it has sent shivers among JDT fans.
It is a toughie, a real toughie for the Southern Tigers who are also the defending champions of the most sought after silverware in Malaysian football.
JDT’s long serving Mexican coach Benjamin Mora has to be aware of the danger that lurks in Gong Badak.
We Bleed Black and White¬†is Terengganu’s slogan and the Southern Tigers will have to take note of the Turtles.
For one, Terengganu head coach Nafuzi Zain has been drilling into his team not to be carried away by JDT’s reputation as eight-time Super League champions apart from being defending Malaysia cup champions.
”Our mission is to beat JDT in the first-leg and enhance our chances of reaching the Malaysia Cup final. We have tough hurdles to clear in the Malaysia Cup semi-finals but it does not mean we cannot beat JDT,” said Nafuzi whose team is oozing with some of the best young football talent in the country.
Many will agree that Terengganu is the most exciting football team in the M-League and only some unexpected results towards the tail end of the Super League competition saw the Turtles slip to fourth place behind JDT, Kedah and Penang.
In the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals JDT struggled to beat Kedah to advance on a 1-0 aggregate after a scoreless draw in the first-le in Alor Setar.
Terengganu, on the other hand won 2-1 at home against Sarawak United and 4-2 away for a 6-3 aggregate.
This is enough to set the tone for the match in Gong Badak. It’s bound to draw the best from Jordan Mintah and Faisal Halim (Terengganu) and Bergson Da Silva or Arif Aiman (JDT) to light up the big match.
In the other semi-final it is the battle of the City dwellers – Kuala Lumpur City FC and Melaka United at the KLFA Stadium in Cheras.
Bojan Hojak has turned out to be a master tactician for KL and the team is unbeaten at home and playing to an empty stadium is no big deal for the Croatian.
KL has been punished by the Malaysian Football League when their fans invaded the pitch after the second leg quarter-final tie against Selangor FC.
KL won 1-0 with Colombian hitman Romel Morales netting the winner for a 3-0 aggregate.
Melaka United sent out Sabah 4-2 on aggregate with Zainal Abidin Hassan coming off 2-1 winners in the return-leg.
It has been simply a great run as KL hopes to end their nearly three decade emptiness. This is the first time KL is in the semis after 29 years and to beat arch rivals Selangor for that has been described as ”simply great” for KL.

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