# Defending champions Pahang whip Police 3-0
# PKNS FC stumble with a 1-1 draw against Penang
# Terengganu defeat JDT II to rekindle their quarter-final hopes
Pahang coach Zainal Abidin Hassan can breathe easy after the defending champions marched into the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Police in a Group D match at the Shah Alam Stadium on Tuesday.
The win confirmed Pahang’s place in the quarter-finals with nine points from three wins from five matches on a night when PKNS FC dropped two precious points in their 1-1 draw against Penang at the Selayang Stadium.
With eight points from two wins and two draws in five matches, the Selangor outfit surrendered their place at the top and slipped to second place but are strongly placed to join Pahang in the last eight – needing only a draw against Police in their final group D match on Nov 4.
“It has (qualifying for the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals has taken off a load from our shoulders…it was a nightmare after we suffered a two straight defeats,” said Zainal as he prepared to returned to Kuantan on Wednesday.
In the same breath Zainal revealed that he conceding eight goals in two matches – 4-1 defeats to Penang away and to PKNS at home – is something he has yet to overcome despite advancing to keep their Malaysian Cup hopes on track.
“However, we managed to check the rot and tightened up things at the back for the do or die match against Police. This gave us the win we needed badly to remain in the Malaysia Cup.”
And it was Pahang’s foreign legion that paved the way for Pahang’s convincing win over the lawmen who remain entrenched at the bottom of the group with five points – the same as Penang (fourth) but separated by goal difference.
Dickson Nwakaeme hit Pahang’s first goal after 28 minutes – setting the tone for the champions to keep their momentum and two minutes two minutes later it was 2-0. This time it was Argentine striker Matias Conti’s turn to get his name into the scoresheet.
Conti completed his brace on 81 minutes to give the Elephants the win they needed badly.
“Conceding eight goals in two straight matches is something I will never forget in my coaching career. It is shocking and frankly I am dazed with the two defeats when we could have sealed our place much earlier.
“Not to concede any goals in the win over Police is another achievement for us. We did a lot of homework after the defeats to Penang and PKNS. I am happy and pleased that we managed to check our shortcomings,” added Zainal.
PKNS conceded an early goal to Penang when Korean striker Lee Gi-hoon drilled home a grounder into the far corner past goalkeeper G. Jeevananthan. However, PKNS made it all square when Alif Haikal Sabri finished off a move from Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh.
At the Pasir Gudang Stadium homesters JDT II slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Terengganu in a Group A match- as the Turtles rekindled their quarter-final hopes but much will depend on the results on Nov 4.
Singapore outfit Lions XII lead the group with 10 points after five matches with Kedah and Terengganu second and third respectively with seven points each with goal difference separating both teams. JDT II are out of contention with only four points.
Kedah’s travel to Pasir Gudang for the last group fixture while Lions will travel to Kuala Terengganu for their match against Terengganu.
A poor back pass allowed Issey Nakajima to give Terengganu the morale boosting goal. Even when Shahril Ishak equalised for JDT II (34th) Terengganu swung the match their way off a penalty with Ismail Faruqi scoring from the spot in the 87th minutes.
Group A
JDT II      1        Terengganu     2
Group B
Police       0        Pahang           3
PKNS FC   1       Penang           1
- Advertisement -