YOUNG Fighters showed excellent determination and demolished Malaysian Indian Sports Council- Malaysian Indian Football Association (MISC-MIFA) 2-0 in a Group B match in the FAM Cup competition.
KL Young Fighters, who had lost their opening match against MOF FC, notched the win at the UKM Sports Complex in Bangi.
KL Young Fighters’ first goal came, from a corner kick, during injury time in the first half when captain Azrul Azmi headed past an off-position MISC-MIFA goalkeeper Mohd Khairul Izzuwan Shaari.
Substitute Muhammad Zul Fahmi Awang, who came in for Hamirul Fahamie Abu Yazid in the 60th minute, was on target five minutes later during a goal mouth scramble and Mohd Khairul could not do anything.
MISC-MIFA, who had edged Ipoh Football Association 1-0 in their opening match, were finding it tough to match KL Young Fighters.
In the absence of injured defender K. Premananthan, they were relying on former international K. Nantha Kumar to organise the attack as well as the defence. Unfortunately, Nantha Kumar did not have support from his teammates and could not penetrate the well organised KL Young Fighters’ defence.
On most occasions, MISC-MIFA were back pedalling. And KL Young Fighters, coached by former Negri Sembilan striker Azmi Mohamad, showed excellent response during counter-attacks.
Both their flankers – R. Barath Kumar and Mohamad Zamri Ramli – were swift and fast. Both contributed immensely to KL Young Fighters’ attacking game.
It was their positive and attacking game which resulted in the two goals. Azmi admitted their players were committed towards winning the game.
“After losing the first match, the players were determined to collect maximum points. They were aware of the expectations and showed their positive attitude in the game.
“MISC-MIFA, having played in the FAM Cup last year, were also impressive. We were lucky as our defenders did a good job to keep their strikers from taking shots at goal.
“It is a good result for us and the players will be inspired. We can look forward to our next match with confidence,’’ said Azmi.
MISC-MIFA coach Jacob Joseph said they were depleted without the tough Premananthan in defence.
“There were ample chances for our strikers to score. But they failed to make them count,’’ said Jacob.
MISC-MIFA team manager J. Dhinagaran said they have to look ahead to their next match – the FA Cup tie against Super Division side Pahang — on Saturday.
“We have to forget about the loss. Now the players and coach should focus on their preparations for the match against Pahang. We are the underdogs. Pahang are strong and they have the imports as well.
“We have to rely on our young players. It will be a good experience for us,’’ said Dhinagaran.
In Group A, Kuala Lumpur Felcra put up a gutsy display and edged UKM FC 4-3 at the UM Sports Complex in Kuala Lumpur while Selangor Megah Murni defeated fancied Shahzan Muda 3-1 at the UPM Sports Complex in Serdang.
After two matches, KL Felcra are leading the 10 team Group A with a 100% record.
They have six points from two wins. Megah Murni are second on four points while Perlis and Sungai Ara FC are third and fourth respectively.
Kedah United are leading Group B with six points from two wins followed by Malacca and MOF FC with four points each.
The FAM Cup will take a two week break because of the FA Cup competition and will resume on April 5.
Group A: Perlis bt PBAPP 2-0; Kuala Lumpur Felcra bt UKM FC 4-3; Kuala Lumpur Real Mulia drew Hanelang FC 1-1; Sungai Ara FC bt Negri Sembilan Prison 2-1; Megah Murni bt Shahzan Muda 3-1.
Group B: Kedah United bt Ipoh Football Associaciation 2-1; Kuala Lumpur Young Fighters bt MISC-MIFA 2-0; JDT III drew Airaisa All Stars 0-0; Malacca drew MOF FC 1-1;