* Poor show by JDT II in Pasir Gudang
* Penang fightback came too late at City Stadium
Defending champions Pahang were held to a 2-2 draw by Premier League outfit Penang in the return-leg quarter-final match at the City Stadium on Wednesday but advanced to the FA Cup semi-finals 4-2 on aggregate – riding on their 2-0 win in the first-leg in Kuantan.
The Elephants were in cruise mode after Nigerian hot-shot Dickson Nwakaeme plundered a brace in the first 11 minutes of play with the first coming after only six minutes. The champions, however, stepped off the gas after the two early goals which put them 4-0 up on aggregate.
Penang, however woke up too late with a double strike by Brazilian Hilton Moreira in the 76th and 87th minutes to pose a threat to Pahang. Pahang will now take on another east coast hopefuls Kelantan in the two-leg semifinals.
At the Pasir Gudang Stadium in Pasir Gudang it was a pathetic show by the homesters who went into the match 2-0 down from the first-leg in Singapore.
Fandi Ahmad’s team were 1-0 up after 20 minutes of play – thanks to the Kamal brothers. A freekick by elder brother Khairul Amri saw Kamal Nizam send the JDT II net dancing with a glancing header and put Lions XII 3-0 in front on aggregate.
However, Lions had to wait till the 65th minute to add to their tally with Nazrul Nazari outrunning the JDT defenders to intercept a through ball before drilling into the far corner past the onrushing JDT custodian Afiff Aizad.
“We fully deserve to win and played to match plans…to score an early goal to put the pressure on JDT. It was a disciplined and committed performance from my players and we fully deserve to be in the semi-finals,” said Lions XII coach Fandi Ahmad.
In the semi-finals the Lions will take on Terengganu and Fandi is aware that “it will be a mammoth task” against the experienced Turtles who knocked out Perak 3-1 on aggregate with a 2-0 win in the return-leg quarter-final in Ipoh on Tuesday.
“Terengganu have very good foreign players but we will go in and give them a fight. We have not given up on the final,” added Fandi, Singapore’s best known football international.
FA CUP QUARTER-FINAL 2ND-LEG RESULTS (APRIL 22)
PENANG 2 PAHANG 2
(Pahang advance to semifinals 4-2 on aggregate)
JDT II 0 LIONS XII 2
(Lions advance to semifinals 4-0 on aggregate)