PETALING JAYA: Premier League outfit Felda United have not learnt their lesson.
Head coach Irfan Bakti said the team have repeated the same mistake since they squandered a three-goal lead against Kelantan in the FA Cup semi-final first-leg match at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Baru on May 6.
In that match, Felda stunned the defending champions and raced to a comfortable 3-0 lead before allowing the east coast giants to claw back into the game and equalise 3-3.
A disappointed Irfan said Felda nearly suffered a similar blow in their Premier League match against SPA Putrajaya last week. They led 3-0 but again the players allowed their opponents to narrow the gap to 4-3 before winning 5-3.
“We should take advantage of the lead and kill off the game and not become complacent. This should not happen again,” said Irfan.
He is hoping Felda will not repeat that mistake when they host Kelantan in the return leg of the FA Cup semi-finals at the Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday.
He believes both teams have an equal chance of making it to the final provided they don’t let their guard down.
“We know the Kelantan fans will fill up the stadium. I am not worried about the fans. It is my own team who have to show character and not repeat the mistakes. I want them to get the goals and not think of the away goal advantage,” said Irfan.
The only setback for Irfan is that he will not have his influential midfielder Zah Rahan Krangar from Liberia for the important game. However, Mohd Syahid Zaidon and seasoned campaigner Mohd Shukor Adan will return after missing the first leg due to suspension.
In the first-leg, Felda scored through Edward Junior Wilson (18th), Indra Putra Mahayuddin (25th) and Mohd Khairul Ismail (35th) before the Red Warriors stormed back with goals by Francis Doe (41st), Ahmad Fakri Saarani (43rd) and Wan Zaharulnizam Zakaria (51st).