Kelantan's Francis Doe (centre) gets the ball away from Felda United players in their FA Cup semi-final first-leg match on May 6. The match ended 3-3.
KOTA BARU: One would be mistaken for thinking you were watching Liverpool and Crystal Palace instead of Felda United and Kelantan in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Defending champions Kelantan staged a dramatic comeback from three goals down to hold Felda to a 3-3 draw in their FA Cup semi-final first-leg match at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Premier League outfit nearly lived up to their giant-killer tag after having dislodged two Super League sides, Sime Darby FC and Sarawak, in the second round and quarter-finals respectively.
On Tuesday night, Felda silenced the 20,000 Kelantan fans after taking a commanding 3-0 lead with goals from Edward Junior Wilson (18th), Indra Putra Mahayuddin (25th) and Mohd Khairul Ismail (35th).
Much like Crystal Palace, who came back from three goals down to equalise with Liverpool in the English Premier League on Monday, Kelantan mounted a fightback.
The Red Warriors clawed their way back into the game with two quick goals to reduce the deficit to 3-2 at half-time.
The opening goal came from Francis Doe in the 41st minute.
Two minutes later, the Felda defence caved in again after Ahmad Fakri Saarani was unchallenged as he headed in a Brendan Gan free-kick from inside the box.
The Red Warriors continued their charge in the second half with winger Wan Zaharulnizam Zakaria firing in the equaliser six minutes after the restart.
Felda have themselves to blame for taking their foot off the pedal after the lead. The second leg of the semi-finals will be held at the Shah Alam Stadium on May 31.