# PKNS FC do not fear playing Perak in Ipoh
# Kedah without two key players for clash against JDT in Larkin
By Rizal Abdullah
Perak have proven to be tough nuts to crack both at home and away if recent performances are anything to go by but Premier League’s PKNS FC are ready to knock the former champions out of the FA Cup for a historic final.
PKNS FC chief coach E. Elavarasan believes his team is capable of turning the 2-2 draw in the first-leg semi-final into a positive result in Saturday’s return-leg clash at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh.
“We know what it takes to beat Perak after the 2-2 draw in the first-leg. Perak is a young side and has its strength and weakness,” said Elavarasan.
“For us playing at home or away does not make much of a difference as our home venue is also away (Hang Jebat Stadium in Malacca). It is another match against a Super League side.
“And we do not fear playing any of the Super League teams. We have beaten Terengganu and Felda United in the FA Cup to reach this far. There is nothing to lose to when we meet Perak.
“Perak are the former champions and they have Cup experience. For PKNS it will be historic if we can make the final for the first time,” said Elavarasan, referring to Perak who were the inaugural winners of the FA Cup in 1990 and again in 2004.
PKNS will be without two key players because of suspension. Leftback P. Gunalan and midfielder Khairul Azrin will sit out the match in Ipoh to serve a one-match suspension for three yellow cards.
Perak will also not have their coach Syamsul Saad on the bench after the FAM Disciplinary Committee slapped him with a four-match ban for abusing a match official during a league match against JDT.
To make matters worse Perak will also miss their Brazilian striker Elias Oliveira because of suspension while their Uzbek striker Vokid Shodiev is nursing an injury.
Meanwhile, Kedah, who became the first team to beat JDT in all competitions this season with a 2-1 win in the first-leg FA Cup semi-final match in Alor Setar and held the Southern Tigers to a 1-1 draw in a league match at the same venue a week later, do not fear playing at the Larkin Stadium.
Kedah chief coach Tan Cheng Hoe, however, admits that it will be a “totally different environment” at the Larkin Stadium.
“I have told my players to be fully focused on the match…and not get distracted what happens inside the stadium,” said Cheng Hoe.
“We know that we have to be prepared for the bombardment from all angles but after playing JDT twice we are aware what needs to be done to protect our advantage from the first-leg.
“No doubt we will miss Liridon (Krasniqi) and Awang Hisyam (Kechik) because of suspension but we are not letting that stand in our way. The show goes on…and I have called on my players not to argue with the match officials on the field.
“It is silly to argue with match officials. That was what happened to Liridon and it is an unwanted booking that has caused the team dearly.” added Chen Hoe.
In the first-leg FA Cup semi-final the Red Eagles scored through Farhan Roslan and Sandro da Silva Mendonca while JDT scored through Juan Martin Lucero.