Malaysian football season nears its season finale. The first leg of the Malaysia Cup 2008 Semi Finals were played last night. The result saw two big football teams setting their foot into the TM Piala Malaysia 2008 Final.
The two contenders in the recent FA Cup 2008 completed the first leg with comfortable wins. Both Selangor and Kedah cruised past their opponents in their respective matches last night.
- Selangor vs Johor FC – Selangor edged Johor FC with a 2-0 win
- Kedah vs Terengganu – Kedah took charge with a convincing 3-0 win.
Both Selangor and Kedah continue their fine form after their wins in the TM Piala Malaysia 2008 Quarter Finals.
Selangor vs Johor FC
In Shah Alam, it was their final appearance with Selangor at home for the 3 Selangor imports. The Selangor trio of Frank Seator, Elie Aiboy and Evans Chisulo bid farewell to their fans. No imports for next season, said FAM recently.
The Selangor Red Giants started the match with vigor. They clearly wanted an early score. They went for the kill from the word go. Johor FC were on their back foot through out the match. They never posed any real danger for the upbeat Selangor.
Selangor deservedly got their first goal in the 18th minute. Safee Sali finishing off a low cross from Indra Putra. The goal raised the heat even further for Johor FC. The home team had many more chances at goal after that. They were however, denied goal by poor finishing up front.
Frank Seator rocked the Johor FC goal post with a thunderous shot from 30 meters in the 40th minute. The score, thus, remained 1-0 until the half.
After the half time breather, Selangor continued their pressure on Johor FC. They kept Johor FC back pedaling through out the match. The Red Giant’s goal keeper had pretty much nothing to do between his goal posts.
E. Aiboy, could have put the homers two up in the 60th minute. S. Sali’s sent the ball to E. Aiboy across a gaping open goal. E. Aiboy, however, failed to convert, even with the goal keeper already well beaten.
The visitors looked to have succeeded in keeping the scoreline at 1-0. However, much to the pleasure of the home fans, two second half substitutions combined together in the dying minutes of extra time to produce Selangor’s second goal. A. Yahyah, coming in from the left, sent in a hard low cross across the Johor goal. The drive was met by the onrushing R. Surendran and directed straight into goal.
Kedah vs Terengganu
Over in Stadium Darul Aman, Kedah too had no problems facing Terengganu. Kedah had total control of the match. Terengganu was never in the game. At half time, Kedah was already up by 2-0. Badrul Bakhtiar and Marlon Alex James scoring in the 25th and 40th minutes respectively. Kedah’s third came in the 75th minute. Khyril Muhaimeen netting in the third for his team.
A Look Ahead
Johor FC will host Selangor at the Pasir Gudang Stadium in the second leg. They will have a daunting task of overcoming Selangor’s two goal advantage. Johor FC, have shown in the past that they are capable of the task, however. They did overcome UPB MyTeam’s 2 goal advantage to advance to the semis. Can they do it again?
An early goal by Selangor in the return leg would diminish any hope of a comeback by Johor FC. Johor FC would need to win by a four goal margin should Selangor score another goal in the 2nd leg. Selangor should take on an attacking mindset in the coming match. A defensive stand could swing the momentum into Johor FC’s advantage.
A two goal lead may not be enough for Selangor. They have been very unpredictable in terms of defense. Among the four in the TM Piala Malaysia 2008 Semi Finalists, Selangor probably has the worst defensive record in the Malaysian Super League 2008 with 36 goals allowed. Johor FC could take advantage of this fact.
Kedah, on the other hand, has a three goal advantage on their side. Terengganu will need to quickly go for the kill and get at least two very early goals to stand a chance in qualifying for the final. Terengganu will no doubt have a Himalayan task ahead of them. Have they got what it takes in them to overcome this 3 goal deficit?
Who do you think will advance into the Malaysia Cup 2008 Final? Who do you want to see in the final? Will we see an FA Cup 2008 rematch?