JDT's Luciano Figueroa (right) arguing with Pahang's Damion Stewart in the FA Cup first-leg semi-final match on May 5, 2014. Their teams will once again rely on them in the second leg on May 30. – Bernama Photo
PETALING JAYA: Pahang have not lost to Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in their three previous meetings this season.
On paper, the fans believe the advantage is with Pahang when they host JDT in the return leg of the FA Cup semi-finals at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan on Friday.
In the first leg of the semi-finals, JDT fumbled in front of their home fans when they conceded a last minute goal to enable Pahang to snatch a 1-1 draw at the Larkin Stadium.
Pahang coach Zainal Abidin Hassan said his boys have the advantage to clinch the ticket to the final based on their playing record with JDT.
In the Super League, Pahang beat JDT 3-2 at home while the away game ended in a 2-2 draw.
“The stage is set for the boys to win the Cup final ticket in front of our supporters. I am sure they don’t want to lose this golden opportunity. We have come this far and have the homeground advantage,” said Zainal.
Pahang just need a 0-0 draw to qualify for the final because of the away-goal advantage.
But it is easier said than done because JDT pose a serious threat upfront. They have strong players in attack led by Argentine striker Luciano Figueroa and new signing Jorge Diaz.
Zainal will be relying on his pillar of strength, Jamaican defender Damion Stewart, to organise the backline. But the Elephants will sorely miss skipper and centreback Razman Roslan, who will sit out due to a one-match suspension.