Young Nazmi eager for first Malaysia Cup final.
Pint-sized Nazmi couldn’t have picked a better time to score his first goal in front of the Selangor fans than against Pahang in the Malaysia Cup semi-final second leg.
His long-range, top-corner shot in the 54th minute – Selangor’s second goal of the night – sealed a place in the Malaysia Cup final for the first time since 2008 and Nazmi tasted what it felt like to be the centre of wild celebrations in front of a packed Shah Alam Stadium.
The 21-year-old, who arrived at Selangor from PKNS in April 2014, has established himself as a regular starter under Mehmet Durakovic this year.
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He featured in 21 Malaysia Super League matches and the only game he didn't play in was against Perak as he was serving a three-match suspension for a spitting incident in August. It was his second spitting incident after being sent home for the same reason in Malaysia’s 2015 SEA Games opener against Timor Leste.
Nazmi thanked those who stood by him during those times and swiftly turned his attention to the final against Kedah this Saturday.
“A couple of firsts … my first goal here in Shah Alam and the first time I’ll be playing in the final. I’m excited and hungry. The goal I scored is for my family, who have supported and motivated me through thick and thin,” said Nazmi.
“The final will be a tight affair. I want to win this trophy … my first winner’s medal for Selangor. I will not take this match lightly (despite Kedah being a second-tier side). Kedah have good young players and good imports. It could go down to the wire but I think Selangor have what it takes.
“I don’t think playing in Shah Alam will be an advantage to us. Both teams have an equal chance to win the trophy. It doesn’t matter whether we are at home or not,” he added.
The final is being held at Shah Alam Stadium because Bukit Jalil Stadium is closed for a makeover ahead of the 2017 SEA Games. Apart from obvious familiarity for the Red Giants, the crowd will be balanced as ticket allocation will be split between the two finalists.
Main photo: Football Malaysia LLP