Home > Sport > Football
Tuesday October 15, 2013 MYT 8:43:00 PM
Tuesday October 15, 2013 MYT 8:44:51 PM
by eric samuel
Armed Forces skipper Hairuddin Omar outruns Johor players in their Malaysia Cup match on Aug 31, 2013. Hairuddin believes Kelantan are a force to be reckoned with and the Armed Forces should not let their guard down.
PETALING JAYA: Armed Forces skipper Hairuddin Omar said defending champions Kelantan will remain favourites even though the first-leg of the Malaysia Cup semi-final venue has been shifted from Shah Alam to the Selayang Stadium on Friday.
The 33-year-old football nomad feels Kelantan have far too many aces in their pack and should pose a serious threat to the soldiers.
“There is no doubt we (Armed Forces) will be the underdogs. I have played with Kelantan before and won many titles, too. I just know them too well. They are a quality side with influential players who can turn match winners,” said Hairuddin.
He said among the key hands in the Kelantan squad are skipper Mohd Badhri Radzi, Indra Putra Omar, Dickson Nwakaeme and Mohd Norfarhan Mohd.
“The strength of the team is built around four key players. Imagine, if all four of them play to form on match day? This is what happened to Johor Darul Takzim (6-1) in the second leg of the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals in Kota Baru. They are experienced players and can score goals,” warned Hairuddin.
Forces for the record lost to Kelantan 3-2 in the Malaysia Cup final last year. It was Indra Putra who scored the winner in extra-time.
Hairuddin, who won the Malaysia Cup winner’s medal four times with three different teams – Terengganu (2001), Negri Sembilan (2009 and 2011) and Kelantan (2010), said the first-leg match will be important for them to keep their heads cool.
“Of course, we need the goals in Selayang because for the second leg in Kota Baru we will face the red army. We have to play a tactical game and not let our guard down throughout the game. As I said, the four players can be dangerous if given the room and space to dictate terms. The last thing we want is for us to go to Kota Baru with a deficit on our hands,” said Hairuddin.
Forces coach B. Sathianathan will be counting on Hairuddin an in-form Marlon James in attack for goals. The Gladiators also have good midfielders in Christie Jayaseelan, Rezal Zambery Yahaya, Mohd Fitri Omar and Argentinian Bruno Martelotto.
Tags / Keywords:
football, Malaysia Cup, Hairuddin Omar, Armed Forces, Kelantan, Selayang Stadium
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)