Selangor and Kedah book Malaysia Cup final repeat date

2015 Malaysia Cup finalists Selangor and Kedah will square off again in the 2016 season finale after defeating T-Team and PDRM respectively in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Defending champions Selangor turned on the style early in Kuala Terengganu to overcome T-Team 5-1 on aggregate and reach a record 49th Malaysia Cup final.

Selangor will face Kedah, who held on to a 2-1 first-leg advantage over PDRM to progress, for a record 34th Malaysia Cup trophy. The Red Giants defeated Kedah 2-0 in last year’s final but the Red Eagles have made leaps this year, showing they belong with the big boys after securing third-place in the Malaysia Super League (MSL).

Kedah coach Tan Cheng Hoe, however, insisted Selangor will enter the final as favourites despite struggling in the MSL this season.

“Selangor are also on a good track of late and we need another big effort bythe players … we must have great confidence that we can get a result. History favours Selangor though as they seem to have a connection with the competition after winning it so many times,” said Tan in a pitch side television interview.

Kedah faced some nervy moments towards the end of the second leg as PDRM search for an elusive goal that would have swung the tie in their favour due to the away goals rule.

The Red Eagles had struck the post twice in the first half and put the Cops’ defence under constant pressure. PDRM’s counter-attacking strategy was dealt with efficiently by the visitors despite the absence of skipper Khairul Helmi Johari.

“We came here expecting a tough match and it was just that. We had the fighting spirit, discipline and the right mental condition to ensure we reached the final. That mental strength helped a lot today,” said Tan.

At Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Stadium, Selangor stunned the full house turnout after just two minutes en route to a 3-0 victory on Saturday.

R. Gopinathan opened scoring from the near post before Ugo Ukah doubled the score in the 19th minute, leaving T-Team needing to score at least four to progress. Skipper Andik Vermansyah scored in stoppage time to put the icing on the cake.

Photo: Football Malaysia LLP