TWO-time champions Terengganu have not given up hope on reaching the FA Cup final despite the “nightmare final seven minutes” which saw them concede three goals as Kelantan ran out comfortable 4-1 winners in the first leg semifinal at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium yesterday.
The scoreline left Terengganu coach E. Elavarasan and the football fraternity dazed, However, Elavarasan is taking everything in his stride, and looking forward to the return leg in Kuala Terengganu on Tuesday under the sweltering heat.
“The end result shocked everyone. It was 1-0 in our favour from the second minute and the score became 1-1. It should have ended that way but it turned out to be a nightmare in injury time,” said Elavarasan..
“Every shot taken at our goal by Kelantan was a goal and the score just swelled to 4-1 … but that’s football. We have to forget what happened in Kota Baru and look forward to the return leg in Kuala Terengganu.
“Kelantan are now coming to the Lions’ den. Let’s see if Kelantan can stand the heat and the pressure. We are not minnows.
“If Kelantan can score three in the last seven minutes we too can do the same in Kuala Terengganu. We will be playing under hot and humid conditions.”
Elavarasan, in his first season with the Turtles after leaving Felda United, is hoping playmaker Ismail Faruqi, who set up Terengganu’s goal, will be fit to play on Tuesday. The midfielder was taken to hospital with head and spinal injury.
“I will have to see the doctor’s report on the injuries before deciding on the player. His early exit affected our game in the first leg,” said Elavarasan.
For the record, Kelantan won their first ever FA Cup last year with a 1-0 win over Sime Darby in the final.
Terengganu won their first FA Cup in 2000 when they overcame Penang 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Their second FA Cup title came in 2011 when they beat Kelantan 2-1 in the final.
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