# Thiago Augusto’s brace not good enough Felda United
# Kedah gain two crucial away goals cushion for return-leg
# Defending champions Pahang and Selangor battle to a scoreless draw in Kuantan
Felda United coach Irfan Bakti, although disappointed with the 2-2 draw against Kedah in the first-leg Malaysia Cup semi-final at the Selayang Stadium on Wednesday, the final is still within reach of The Fighters.
“Nothing is over yet. There is still another 90 minutes of football to be played and it will be decided in Alor Setar on Sunday,” said Irfan.
In the same breath the veteran coach was quick to point out that the “scenario is no different” when Felda United drew 1-1 with favourites Johor Darul Takzim in the first-leg at home but came back strong to notch a 2-1 away win to knock out the AFC Cup champions.
“There is no reason why we cannot repeat the same against Kedah. You must be confident and confidence plays an important role in football.
“I must admit that we lapsed in concentration at the back and conceded two goals from set-pieces.
“There will be some changes to the team for the second-leg with the return of Indra Putra from suspension.”
Felda United had a two-goal hero in Brazilian hitman Thiago Augosto who took his personal tally in the Malaysia to eight goals and was aptly named the Man of the Match at Selayang.
Augusto’s first came as early as the 14th minute when he whipped in a beautifully executed cross from the left by Hadin Azman – beating the offside trap as Kedah defenders stood watching.
Then came Kedah’s dramatic equaliser on 37 minutes – after the fourth official behind the Felda goal deemed Sandro Da Silva’s header from a freekick had crossed the line although goalkeeper Farizal Harun had managed to dive to his right had managed to turn the ball away and the referee had allowed play to on.
However, Felda were back in front in the 56th minute and again it was Thiago who got his name into the scoresheet.
He ran into space to receive Zah Rahan Krangar’s pass and drew Kedah goalkeeper out and coolly slotted the ball into the empty net.
Kedah, however, never gave up and were back on level terms for the second time with the hardworking Syazwan Zainon setting up Nigerian Chidi Edeh for the finishing touches. Felda 2 Kedah 2.
The Red Eagles, who won a treble in 2007 and 2008 under Kedah’s famous football son Azraai Khor Abdullah, now take a two away goals cushion which could prove to crucial if Kedah want to keep their Dec 12 Malaysia Cup final date.
At the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan, defending champions Pahang had the better of the game but could only manage a scoreless draw – thanks to an inspiring performance goalkeeper Norazlan Rashid.
MALAYSIA CUP SEMI-FINALS (FIRST-LEG) Dec 2
Felda United 2 Kedah 2
Pahang 0 Selangor 0