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Sunday November 3, 2013 MYT 7:30:00 AM
Sunday November 3, 2013 MYT 9:02:37 AM
by eric samuel
Filepic shows Kelantan fans with a mock Malaysia Cup trophy but who will lift the real Malaysia Cup at the end of the final between Kelantan and Pahang on Sunday at Shah Alam Stadium?
The 87th Malaysia Cup final kicks off Sunday night at the Shah Alam Stadium and we take a closer look at the two teams that will be contesting in the 8.45pm finale.
Coach: Dollah Salleh
Captain: Jalaluddin Jaafar
Past record: Malaysia Cup champions in 1983 and 1992; League champions in 1987, 92, 95, 97 and 04; FA Cup champions in 2006; Premier League champions in 2000.
Road to Final:
Runners-up Group C
Played 6, Won 2, Lost 2, Points 8
Quarter-finals: bt PKNS FC 5-3 on aggregate
Semi-finals: bt Sarawak 4-2 on aggregate
Player To Watch:
Mohd Azamuddin Akil
THE diminutive Kuala Lipis local has pace and agility. He will be full of running which could just unsettle Kelantan’s defence who will be without suspended Obinna Nwaneri.
Nik Shahrul Azim Abdul Halim, 23 (centreback)
The former President Cupper has improved since making his debut last year. The youngster is set to play in the heart of defence.
Azizi Matt Rose, 32 (centreback)
The stocky centreback missed the 2012 season with an ACL injury but made a sensational return to the team this season.
Farisham Ismail, 28 (right-back)
Versatile and plays in any position in the backline. Should take up the right-back role and will be a hard player to beat.
Zairul Fitree Ishak, 28 (left-back)
Will play in the place of injured regular Daudsu Jamaluddin. Equally adept in defending and bombing forward with his overlapping runs.
Indra Putra Mahayuddin, 32.
An attacking midfielder. Was the hero in last year’s final scoring the winner in extra-time (3-2). Packs deadly shots.
Shakir Shaari, 27.
Defensive midfielder. The unsung hero of the team. High work rate and reads the game well.
Mohd Norfarhan Mohd, 29.
A total package winger. Blessed with speed and trickery. Capable of beating defenders with a drop of shoulder and a good crosser of the ball.
Zairo Anuar Zalani, 31.
A veteran. Forms a solid partnership with Shakir and skipper Badhri to bomb forward. Another dead-ball specialist.
Mohd Badhri Radzi, 32.
The Captain Marvel has been deployed in the hole behind the striker and it has added his potency upfront. A tireless worker.
Dickson Nwakaeme, 27.
Known as the tank. Armed Forces coach B. Sathianathan calls him “Ironman” for his ability to bulldoze past defenders.
Mohd Khairul Azhan Khalid, 24
A rookie playing in his first Cup final. The former Shahzan Muda player has upstaged the more seasoned Mohd Nasril Nourdin.
Jalaluddin Jaafar, 38 (right-back)
The most senior player in the team. Has loads of playing experience since he first donned Pahang colours 16 years ago, Still has the legs.
Damion Stewart, 33 (centreback)
The pillar of strength in defence. The Jamaican has been outstanding with his solid defending qualities. Also lends support upfront.
Mohd Razlan Roslan, 29 (centreback)
Has made a strong impact. The national player has been instrumetal with his hard tackles and overlapping runs. Very experienced.
Mohd Shahrizan Salleh, 31 (left-back)
A long serving player serving Pahang for 13 years. An aggressive player noted for his speed and strong defensive disciplines.
Mohd Amirul Hadi Zainal, 27
Good distributor of the ball. The former national player has individual skills to win the battle for supremacy in the engine room.
R. Surendran, 26
A key hand down the right flank. Should provide the sparks in Pahang’s attack with his darting runs.
R. Gopinathan, 23
A strong runner. Very influential figure in the Pahang team. Has the ability to turn around the game in the final.
Mohd Hafiz Kamal, 26
A good distributor and reads the game well. Often helps in the offensive. Has a good work rate.
Matias Conti, 23
The Argentine has not been consistent due to injury. But on his day should pose a threat to any defence. Skillful and has good shots at goal.
Mohd Azamuddin Akil, 28
Hotshot. The national striker has been playing with confidence. Has improved tremendously and should be the live wire of the Pahang team.
THE VERDICT by V. Sundramoorthy
IN GOAL: (Kelantan 60-40)
Khairul Fahmi Che Mat is a top class shot-stopper and has maintained his number one status in the national team. Has the agility and ability to read the game well. Loads of experience playing in the final. A huge asset for the Red Warrions compared to the inexperienced Mohd Khairul Azhan Mohd Khalid of Pahang. The big stage could could get onto his nerves.
Both teams look vulnerable at the back. Kelantan have experience on their side but they will sorely miss the suspended Obinna Nwaneri - a key player in the heart of defence. Jamaican Damion Stewart is Pahang’s pillar of strength in defence and whose form will be vital in keeping the Elephants in the game.
Little to separate both teams in this department. The teams are equal in strength with Kelantan holding the edge in experience with the likes of Mohd Badhri Radzi, Shakir Shaari, Indra Putra Mahayuddin and Mohd Nor Farhan Mohd. But Pahang are no pushovers either having speedy flankers in R. Surendren and R. Gopinathan to provide the sparks.
It is unanimous. Kelantan are far too strong in attack. Stocky Dickson Nwakaeme is a battering ram. It will be tough to shackle down his runs and fancy foot works inside the box. The Pahang defence will have their hands full trying to contain this giant. Injury to Matias Conti has left Pahang weakened up front but they still have the underrated Mohd Fauzi Roslan who can pop in with the crucial goal.
Tags / Keywords:
Malaysia Cup, football
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