With the Malaysian league season over, it's now time for 16 select teams to battle for Malaysia Cup supremacy. Ooi Kin Fai previews all four groups in this opening stage...
What happened in the league?
Finished a very respectable fourth, even with one arm tied behind their back, as dangerman Paulo Rangel was suspended for three months. Interim coach Ahmad Yusoff has done a splendid job since taking over from Abdul Rahman, prompting calls for him to get the role permanently. The results speak for themselves – Abdul Rahman failed to win in nine of his 13 matches, while Ahmad Yusoff prevailed in eight of his nine games at the helm.
Did anything go wrong?
Of course, otherwise there wouldn’t have been a coaching change. Abdul Rahman chose to build around Paulo Rangel and thus made his team too predictable. Opposing teams simply figured out how to deploy stifling tactics to nullify Rangel and beat the Turtles.
What went right?
Bringing Ahmad Yusoff in completely turned the team's fortunes around. The new coach's decision to use Issey Nakajima-Farran in a more advanced attacking role has been a stroke of genius, with Gustavo Lopez operating between the lines very effectively.
Player to watch
Like a tiger without food for days, expect Rangel to come out from his suspension with all guns blazing. He can be greedy at times but then, all good strikers are.
Top of the group at a canter.