All hell broke loose at the State Stadium in Kuching after Sarawak drew 1-1 with Perak, which put them out of Malaysia Cup challenge.
PETALING JAYA: Premier League teams – Felda United and Police – hogged the limelight as they stole a march on the rest to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Cup tournament.
Felda topped Group A with two stunning efforts – first they drew with 0-0 with Lions XII at the Jalan Besar Stadium and then shocked defending champions Pahang 3-2 win at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan.
The Fighters’ old war horses – midfielder Indra Putra Mahayuddin and versatile defender Mohd Shukor Adan’s efforts in the competition didn’t go unnoticed as their performance earned them a call-up to the national team after a six year hiatus.
They finished their preliminary round campaign with 13 points from six matches to finish three points ahead of group runners-up Pahang.
Premier League champions Police upstaged Super League sides – Selangor, Sime Darby and T-Team – to advance early from Group D. And they did it in style with only one blemish – a 1-1 draw with Selangor.
The Cops raked up an impressive 15 goals from six matches – the highest in the group stages – courtesy of strikers Ali Ashfaq, Charles Souza Chad and Bobby Gonzales to finish with 16 points from six matches.
The duo, who have earned promotion to the Super League next season, will certainly not be the whipping boys when the quarter-final stage of the Malaysia Cup on Oct 3.
The down-side of the Malaysia Cup competition is the Football Association Malaysia (FAM) competition committee’s failure to draw up a not-so-hectic fixtures.
The group stage begun on Aug 13 and ended on Wednesday with each team playing six matches – twice a week for three weeks. Then there’s a one-month break for the Asian Games.
The quarter-finals will resume with the first leg on Oct 3 and 4, while the second leg is scheduled for Oct 17 and 18.
The semi-finals will be held on Oct 24 and 25 (first leg) and Oct 31 and Nov 1 (second leg). The final will be held on Nov 8, just two weeks before the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup.
The congested fixtures affected the quality of the football during the group stages and it will mean national team coach Dollah Salleh and the national Under-23 coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee are left with a bunch of fatigued players to pick for their respective assignments.
The ugly side during the Malaysia Cup is definitely the fracas at the State Stadium in Kuching after Sarawak were held to a 1-1 draw by Perak which knocked the Crocs out.
All hell broke loose after the final whistle as disgruntled Sarawak fans threw bottles, firecrackers and flares before invading the pitch and kicking down the advertising boards.
The chaos continued outside the stadium, with the unruly fans targeting police cars after the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) fired tear gas to control the situation. It was reported that seven police vehicles were vandalised. A few vehicles were also torched.
FAM have yet to take action against Sarawak but it is time they really come down hard on the offenders before a life is lost – just because of football.