# PKNS coach Elavarasan is a shrewd tactician
# ‘I always have faith in my players’ – Elevarasan
# Mario Gomez must deliver for JDT
By Rizal Abdullah
Premier League club side PKNS FC will be fine with the underdog tag for Saturday‘s FA Cup final against Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim at the Shah Alam Stadium.
When the two rival coaches – Mario Gomez of JDT and E. Elavarasan of PKNS – shook hands during a press conference on Friday it spoke of the last hurdle for both teams to lay their hands on the silverware.
The FA Cup will be another piece of history in Malaysian football tomorrow night after the Lions XII went down in the annals as the first foreign team to win the silver with a 3-1 win over favourites Kelantan last year.
Not many are aware that both JDT and PKNS are club sides. JDT is fact a club team born out of Johor FC and is plays in the elite Super League while the JDT II is actually the state team playing its football trade in the lower tier Premier League.
The Johor state team won the FA Cup in 1998 under coach Steve Darby.
JDT have flourished over the last few years under the leadership of HRY Highness Brig Gen Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim who is also the Crown Prince of Johor and made the FA Cup final in 2013 but fell to a 1-0 defeat to Kelantan.
Saturday’s final will be the first step towards JDT’s ambitious journey to see if the Johor outfit can make a sweep of all the Malaysian football titles at stake – the League Cup, the FA Cup and the prestigious Malaysia Cup.
The Southern Tigers have also marched into the Round of 16 in the AFC Cup. JDT are the defending AFC Cup champions and completed their group stage with an unbeaten record.
However, PKNS could derail JDT’s “Journey of Clean Sweep” and have quietly instilled confidence in the players 
“No doubt we are the underdogs in the Final…against a team with all the stars and big names in Malaysian football. They (JDT) have a reputation and have established themselves as the best football team in the country for now,” said Elavarasan.
“But there is no way we are throwing in the towel. This is the final hurdle and we have an equal chance of winning. Football is funny and anything can happen in football.”
“I must admit that reaching the (FA Cup) final has created a lot of excitement in the team…from the management, the players and the fans.
“Nobody gave us a chance to be here (in the final). But here we are in the final on merit. It was a tough journey but we hope to make it a memorable journey.

“We can win if we play according to match strategies and according to plans, To reach the final is already history and we want to make it a historic night.”

The FA Cup final is dubbed as the “Battle of the Argentines” with JDT’s Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Juan Martin Lucero battling against PKNS’ Argentine hitmen Gabriel Guerra and Juan Manuel Cobelli. 
A win in the FA Cup final will give PKNS their first major title in Malaysian football. The Red Ants, as PKNS are known, won the Premier League in 2011 and the FAM Cup in 1978. 1979 and 2003.
PKNS are also in the running to qualify for the Malaysia Cup this year. This year’s Malaysia Cup format has been changed with the top 11 teams in the 12-team Super League qualifying for the premier tournament together with the top five teams in the Premier League at the half-way mark.
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