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Monday November 4, 2013 MYT 6:45:00 PM
Monday November 4, 2013 MYT 6:50:39 PM
by james tang
Pahang's Argentine striker Matias Conti shares his joy of winning the Malaysia Cup with fans after his team beat defending champions Kelantan in the final on Sunday at Shah Alam Stadium. - The STAR
PETALING JAYA: This one’s for the fans.
Pahang’s Malaysia Cup hero Matias Conti has dedicated his winning goal against Kelantan in the Malaysia Cup final on Sunday to the fans.
The 23-year-old Argentine was barely in the final until he popped up with a spectacular header at the hour mark to lead The Elephants to a 1-0 win over defending champions Kelantan at the Shah Alam Stadium.
Conti was full of praise for the fans “as they gave us tremendous support on a night when we needed them the most.”
“We could not have asked for more from the fans ... they were amazing,” said Conti after helping Pahang end a 21-year wait for the coveted trophy.
“They have been with the team through thick and thin. On Cup final day, they were there despite the downpour.
“Thanks to their undying support, we have made it. Everywhere we go, they will be there to cheer us on and tonight (Sunday) was no exception ... I’m certain they are one of the reasons why we played well.
“I’m also happy to have scored the winning goal ... but what’s more important is that Pahang have regained the Malaysia Cup.”
The goal came off a quick counter attack, with national striker Azamuddin Akil crossing from the right and Conti planting a header to beat the outstretched hands of Kelantan goalkeeper Khairul Che Mat in the 60th minute.
For a while, the whole scene looked surreal, as if it was an action from a movie – with the 80,000 spectators watching as the ball looped over Khairul before hitting the back of the net in slow motion.
Azamuddin, the man-of-the-match, was also full of praise for his team-mates.
“They put everything that they learned in training into practice in the final ... and all our hard work paid off,” he said.
“I told my team-mates before the game that whatever the outcome, they should enjoy the game and just do their best.
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