Sunday, 29 June 2014 | MYT 6:36 PM
T-Team, JDT II qualify for Malaysia Cup
T-Team’s Mohd Ramzul Zahini Adenan (center) scores past N. Sembilan’s goalkeeper, Mohamad Yatim Abdullah during their Malaysia Cup playoffs at the Shah Alam Stadium . — FAIHAN GHANI / The Star.
PETALING JAYA: T-Team coach Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah admitted it was a bittersweet moment for him after his side knocked out Negri Sembilan 1-0 in a Malaysia Cup playoff match at the Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday.
Striker Mohd Ramzul Zahini Adenan scored the winner in the 42nd minute for the relegated Super League side to qualify for the Malaysia Cup, which will be held in August.
The hard-earned win enabled T-Team to join Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) II, who ousted PKNS FC 2-1 in the other playoff, to secure automatic qualification for the 16-team Malaysia Cup.
The others are in the fray are Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), Selangor, Pahang, Terengganu, Sime Darby, Kelantan, Sarawak, Lions XII, Perak and Armed Forces, Police, Felda United, Penang and Kedah.
While Azraai was glad to see T-Team qualify for the Malaysia Cup, he was saddened to eliminate Negri from the competition.
Azraai has a soft spot for Negri, having guided the team to their third Malaysia Cup title in 2011.
“It was an emotional roller-coaster for me ... happy to win the playoffs. But I also feel sad to see my former team Negri knocked out of the competition. Having qualified for the Malaysia Cup cannot make up for my disappointment of being relegated from the Super League,” said Azraai.
“This is the first time a team under my guidance was relegated. I will take full responsibility for this failure. We are now in the Malaysia Cup, but it’s up to the management to decide on my position,” he added.
The 61-year-old coach conceded that T-Team face a tall order to do well in the Malaysia Cup.
“We have a small squad and there’s a vast gap between the regulars and the reserves ... reaching the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Cup will be asking a lot of the team,” said Azraai.