* FA Cup semifinal hopes very much alive for Turtles
With its unbeaten home run shattered by Felda United with a 3-1 defeat to The Fighters in a Super League match at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddi n Shah Stadium in Kuala Terengganu on Saturday, a battered Terengganu head to Ipoh to face Perak in a second-round FA Cup quarter-final match on Tuesday.
Terengganu coach Abdul Rahman Ibrahim could not hide his disappointment over the defeat to Felda but is also unhappy that the tired Turtles will face a “fresh” Perak who are well rested after their match against Pahang in Kuantan was postponed to a later date because the Elephants were involved in a AFC Cup match against Hong Kong’s South China in Hong Kong.
“It is best I do not say much on the fixtures but there are many questions left unanswered when matches are postponed. Some teams benefit while some don’t…Terengganu will also involved in a long journey to Ipoh. It is tiring for my team too,” said Abdul Rahman.
Perak and Terengganu go into the return-leg quarter-final match with the score tied at 1-1 from the first-leg. Perak, also have the advantage of getting an away goal. However, Terengganu defeated Perak 3-2 in a league match on April 11.
However, the demoralising defeat to Felda in Kuala Terengganu left many question marks and the manner in which the Turtles conceded two goals in the last 10 minutes of play left Abdul Rahman shell shocked.
“We played below par and Felda fully deserved to take all three points. I hope we can recover from the shock defeat to face Perak in the FA Cup. Our last trip to Ipoh ended with a win and hopefully we can once again show the fighting spirit we showed in the league match,” said Abdul Rahman.
The former national coach is still optimistic of reaching the FA Cup semi-finals but has warned his players to pull up their socks.
“Felda is an experienced side and rode on their experience to get the goals against us. Perak is young side with plenty of youth and energy. We have to neutralise this and we know what to expect against Perak. We did it in our last trip and there is no reason why we cannot do it again (in the FA Cup).”
Abdul Rahman added that the recovery of his injured players has given him more options for the FA Cup match.