# Irfan Bakti’s Fighters destroy JDT with a 2-1 win over AFC Cup champions
# Felda also smash JDT’s two-year unbeaten home record
# Pahang survive at Jalan Besar despite 2-0 defeat to Lions XII
# Kedah’s Malaysia Cup aura continues with a 3-1 win over PKNS FC
# Selangor keep their ‘Mission 33’ alive with 1-1 draw against Sarawak
The Malaysia Cup jinx for Johor Darul Takzim continued as Felda United pulled off a stunning 2-1 win in the second-leg quarter-finals at the famed Larkin Stadium in Johor Bahru on Saturday.
In the process “The Fighters” as Felda United are known also smashed JDT’s proud unbeaten home record since October 2013 to advance to the semi-finals 3-2 on aggregate after the first-leg at the Selayang Stadium last Tuesday ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
Felda’s Brazilian import Thiago Augusto was the star of the night – scoring one and setting up the winner – leaving the JDT bench and the home fans stunned.
Last year JDT and Felda United crossed paths in the semi-finals with the Southern Tigers coming 6-5 winners on aggregate with a 3-1 win in the return-leg in Larkin to overturn Felda’s 4-3 win in the first-leg.
JDT, the newly crowned AFC Cup champions, were expected to roll past Felda United but Irfan Bakti proved to be superior in his tactical moves as Thiago Augusto converted a first minute penalty after JDT’s Singaporean import Hariss Harun was hauled up for hands while trying to clear a corner kick by Christie Jayaseelan.
The homesters hotly protested the penalty but referee Nazri Nasaruddin stood his ground and the visitors pulled ahead when Augusto blasted his spot kick past JDT custodian Farizal Marlias.
Safiq Rahim made it all square on 50 minutes but Zah Rahan Krangar scored a brilliant goal in the 77th minute – a delightful chip that hit the crossbar before hitting the inside of the side netting.
“We did our homework well and this paid off,” said Felda United head coach Irfan Bakti who praised his players for their discipline and playing to instructions.
“It is very satisfying to beat the best team in the country and the AFC Cup champions. Tonight we showed that JDT can be beaten with the right approach.”
At the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore it was a close call for defending champions Pahang who came through despite a 2-0 defeat to Fandi Ahmad and his Lions XII. However, thanks to the 4-1 win by the Elephants in the first-leg in Kuantan the East Coast state stay alive in the country’s oldest football competition.
The homesters piled on the pressure on Pahang two quick strikes which came via Christopher Van Huizen in the 12th minute before Faris Ramli made it 2-0 in the 19th minute.
However, Lions simply could not add to their tally as Pahang tightened their game at the back to deny the Singapore outfit from prolonging their stay in the Malaysia Cup. Pahang advanced to the last four 4-3 on aggregate.
With the defeat it is the end of Singapore’s interest in the M-League after winning the FA Cup. The FA of Malaysia (FAM) and the FA of Singapore (FAS) have decided not to end their four-year MOU which was signed in 2011 due several issues.
“We played well and gave Pahang a run for their money but the two goals were not good enough. I thank my players and all the Singapore fans for giving us the support…although we are out of the Malaysia Cup,” said Fandi Ahmad.
Sarawak did not have the lasting power to ride on the 1-0 lead after 22 minutes through former international Asri Chuchu and allowed Afiq Azmi to get the equaliser on 28 minutes for the Red Giants to advance 3-2 on aggregate. Selangor won the first-leg 2-1 in Kuching.
It was a sad end to PKNS FC’s run in the Malaysia Cup just when things looked good for E. Elavarasan and his team.
Poor defending saw PKNS concede a 29th minute goal when Chidi Edeh found the net while the ball watching defenders failed to clear the ball. Kedah were 2-0 up after 68 minutes with a gem of a goal by Brazilian Sandro Da Silva from a long range freekick that goalkeeper G. Jeevananthan never saw until the ball hit the back of his net.
PKNS hauled themselves back with Mohd Faiz Isa reducing the deficit a minute later but Syafiq Ahmad hammered goal No 3 for Kedah deep into injury time for a 3-1 win and a place in the semi-finals.
MALAYSIA CUP QUARTER-FINALS (2ND LEG) RESULTS (Nov 28)
SELANGOR 1 SARAWAK 1
(Selangor advance 3-2 on aggregate)
FELDA UNITED 2 JDT 1
(Felda United advance 3-2 on aggregate)
LIONS XII 2 PAHANG 0
(Pahang advance 4-3 on aggregate)
PKNS 1 KEDAH 3
(Kedah advance 4-2 on aggregate)