PETALING JAYA, Nov 13 – It is their biggest match of the year thus far – Sarawak United’s first-leg Malaysia Cup quarter-final tie against Terengganu FC at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak, Kuala Terengganu on Sunday.
The plum tie has attracted a lot of attention for various parties and for various reasons. Not happy had given Sarawak United the Premier League runners-up, hopes of reaching the knockout stage and is the only team from the lower tier league to be still in the running for the prestigious Malaysia Cup.
The oldest football tournament in this region celebrates its 100th Anniversary this year.
For the East Malaysian outfit the journey has not been smooth sailing but the professionals under head coach E. Elavarasan are living to the famous Dayak battle cry AGI IDUP AGI NGELABAN  (As Long As We Live, We Fight).
Let’s not talk about the off field issues. Much has been written about Sarawak United’s late salaries of up to three-months. However, Sarawak United supremo keeps his promise to settle all arrears and be a trusted leader.
Coming back to the biggie in Gong Badak, Elavarasan and his team is not taking away anything away from Terengganu FC. Next to Johor Darul Takzim, Terengganu is the next big name in the Super League, oozing with confidence.
Just like JDT, Terengganu has enough depth on the bench – both local and foreign. In coach Nafuzi Zain, Terengganu has a plotter who can take the team all the way. However, let’s not forget Elavarasan who is a “plotter” in his own right.
Elavarasan is also a shrewd tactician and he has worked wonders when the chips are down. What plans he has against Terengganu playing away in the first-leg is left to be seen. Who will will features in his team is another question mark when he only has a small pool to pick his team.
Another hallmark of Elavarasan is that he never begs a player to play for the team. Instead, for him the player is the one who should have the desire, urgency and pride to don the team colors. He will not hesitate to leave any player out of his match plans if the need arises due to demands from a player.
For Elavarasan and Sarawak United the show must go on under any circumstances. The Ngap Sayot spirit still burns because the team is playing for Sarawak – the land of warriors – warriors who will fight till the end despite the off field issues.


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