# No quarters will be given in return-leg semi-finals

# Playing at home does not make Selangor or Kedah favourites

# Mayhem in Alor Setar as fans ‘fight’ for tickets


Ask the coaches of any of the four contenders who will battle it out in the return-leg Malaysia Cup semi-final on Sunday and you will get a positive answer after the first-leg ties ended in stalemates.

Defending champions Pahang could not score at home in Kuantan and had to settle for a scoreless draw against 32-time champions Selangor despite having a better share of the ball and scoring chances.

Will Pahang rue their missed chances when they troop into the Shah Alam Stadium for the second-leag?

Ask Pahang coach Zainal Abidin Hassan and the former international is never concerned with what happened in Kuantan although it disappointed the Elephants.

“Yes. I must admit that we could have placed ourselves in a better position in Kuantan. But this is football. So we have to make ourselves count at Shah Alam.

“We can turn things around in front of the Selangor fans. The crowd is not a fear factor for us. If one thing that takes priority on Sunday is that we can afford to miss the opportunities.

“I am confident it will be a different Pahang and the players have vowed to make up for the misses in Kuantan,” said Zainal, who is still worried over skipper Razman Roslan’s injury.

The national defender will be given a late fitness test before Zainal names his first team and the reserves.

Selangor coach Mehmet Durokovic is equally confident that his Red Giants playing in the final and keep their “Mission 33” alive.

“There is tremendous fighting spirit in my players and they did a marvellous job in Kuantan to come off with a draw. It has given us the inspiration to go for the ‘kill’ to reward our loyal fans,” said the Australian, who has three Malaysia Cup winner’s medal as a player with Selangor.

Up north in Alor Setar the “hot atmosphere” when thousands caused a near stampede at the Darulaman Stadium – the venue for Sunday’s return-leg class between newly crowned Premier League champions Kedah and plantation giants Fedla United.

With only two counters opened for the sale of tickets on Saturday it was simply jostling and pushing without order as fans rushed to get tickets for the match which is expected to draw the biggest football crowd in Alor Setar.

In the process some of the fans fainted before police and stadium officials restored order. The mess at the counters left fans angry as there was no “law and order” despite previous such incidents.

Putting that aside, Kedah are brimming with confidence that a place in the final is Kedah’s for the taking after an impressive come-from-behind twice to force a 2-2 draw.

But Felda coach Irfan Bakti is not cowed with the result as he believes that his “Fighters” have the guts and experience to face Kedah away.

“The pressure is on Kedah. As for my team it will be an all out attacking game with their eyes set on getting an early to put the pressure on Kedah,” said Irfan.



 Both matches kickoff at 8.45pm



(Stadium Darulaman, Alor Setar)



(Stadium Shah Alam)

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