It is a hectic Saturday for Selangor head coach B. Satianathan who has his hands full in his bid to guide the Red Giants to the Malaysia Cup final despite trailing 1-2 to Johor Darul Takzim after the first-leg semi-final at the Larkin Stadium last week.
Selangor hopes to ride on the away goal advantage when the return-leg is played at the Shah Alam Stadium today (Saturday) – thanks to Nigerian hitman Idefayo Olusegun who threw the Red Giants a lifeline at the Larkin Stadium.
Satianathan, however, has a mammoth task to achieve success, more so when former international Khyril Muhymeen aggravated his groin injury during training while Brazilian Endrick dos Santos is nursing an injury around his pelvic area.
Kedah-born Khyril, who has rediscovered his form of late and is a key pillar in Satianathan’s match strategies will likely be given injections on Saturday morning so that he can take the field against the Southern Tigers.
Satianathan, however, is very disappointed with Endrick. He described the Brazilian midfielder as “childish” who spends more on time on his handphone playing games instead of getting enough rest to recover from his injury.
“I will only decide on the match strategies hours before the kickoff. Khyril played in the first-leg and did well. I need him in my match plans but much will depend on what the doctor says,” said Satianathan, adding that Vietnam international Michal Nguyen will also feature in his match plans.
“We are playing the best team in the country. JDT is a solid all-round team with depth on the bench. However, with the right approach and the right attitude, the players can deliver. Football is a game of surprises.”
Selangor has won the prestigious Malaysia Cup a record 33 times and last played in the final in 2015.
Satianathan hit the road right after the match against JDT – heading to Teluk Intan to celebrate Deepavali which falls on Sunday. The Festival of Lights is also the time for family members and relatives to get together.
Meanwhile, there is also much focus on the Pahang-Kedah second-leg semifinal at the Darulmakmur Stadium in Kuantan.
Both teams go into battle on equal footing after the first-leg in Alor Setar ended in a 3-3 draw but Pahang has the advantage of three away goals. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH