2014 Malaysia Cup team preview: Selangor
Home Ground: Shah Alam Stadium, Shah Alam
Nickname: The Red Giants
Super League: 2nd
FA Cup: Second Round
Last Season's Malaysia Cup: Group stages
What happened in the league?
For the second successive season, Selangor ended up as the bridesmaid in the Super League. Hovering among the top three from Matchday 1, they have only themselves to blame after relinquishing their 34-day lead at the top in the fnal weeks. The loss to JDT at the Shah Alam Stadium – Selangor’s first home defeat since May 2012 – meant their lead was slashed from five to two points. Later losses to ATM and Kelantan – all in a space of 24 days – broke the hearts of their loyalists.
A giant in a slumber following the departure of Mahali Jasuli, Norazlan Ramli, Amri Yahyah, Asraruddin Putra Omar and Nasriq Baharom.
Although they are no longer the indomitable Selangor of yore, the Red Giants remain a solid outfit but unfortunately lack the strength in depth and imagination, grinding out 1-0 victories on seven occasions.
In Brazilian marksman Paulo Rangel, Selangor possess a weapon capable of destruction, netting 16 goals out of 61 attempts, with 35 of them on target, as well as adding three assists to his name. Suspended after getting red-carded against Terengganu, Rangel’s predatory instincts were sorely missed in the final stretch. The rest including mid-season signing Nazmi Faiz Mansor and Andik Vermansyah merely carry the piano for Rangel. Selangor also boasted the best defensive record in the league, conceding just 19 goals.
Overdependence on Rangel, with fellow attackers A. Thamil Arasu, Hazwan Bakri and Abdul Hadi Yahya often failing to fully capitalise on the space created by the Brazilian.
The player to watch
Andik’s dribbling skills, pace and use of the flanks will be a constant source of worry for their opponents and key to Rangel’s prospects of hitting the mark if Selangor are really out to win their 33rd Malaysia Cup title.
A former defensive lynchpin during the heady days of 1990s, Mehmet Durakovic has formed a side that is hard to beat by playing to the team’s strength – using the width to supply the ammunition to Rangel and at the same time rely on the defensive stability of Bunyamin Umar and Shahrom Kalam to neutralise the opponents. However, Durakovic’s choice of tactics and personnel can be questionable at times.
Group stage fixtures
Aug 13 – T-Team (A)
Aug 20 – PDRM (H)
Aug 23 – Sime Darby (A)
Aug 27 – Sime Darby (H)
Aug 30 – PDRM (A)
Sep 3 – T-Team (H)