KUALA Lumpur and Selangor are on course to qualify for the final of the Malaysia Chinese Football Association (MSFC) league competition.
Both Kuala Lumpur and Selangor have a goal advantage after the first leg semi-finals. In the semi-finals, Kuala Lumpur scored a narrow 1-0 win over Negri Sembilan, at the UPM Sports Complex in Serdang, while Selangor edged Penang also by a similar margin at the USM Stadium in Penang.
The match between Kuala Lumpur and Negri Sembilan did not live up to expectations. Both teams, with several youngsters in their line-up, were cautious in their raids. There were chances for both teams to score but their strikers failed miserably.
The second half resumed with Kuala Lumpur playing an aggressive game. And it took them only three minutes to score. Hardworking Ashween Shaun, who had missed a couple of sitters in the first half, headed a cross beyond the reach of Negri Sembilan goalkeeper See Tian Keat.
Negri Sembilan, the defending champions, with striker Choong Tuck Wai, playing an aggressive role in attack, managed to beat the Kuala Lumpur defenders on several occasions. Unfortunately he failed to beat Kuala Lumpur goalkeeper Wong Tse Yang.
Kuala Lumpur, on their part, could have increased their tally but were denied by the Negri Sembilan defenders.
Kuala Lumpur team manager Lim Kim Lian, who watched the match from the gallery, was not too happy with his players’ performance.
“Yes, we won but the players gave a scrappy display and we cannot afford to take it easy in the return leg. We have to be more aggressive and get the goals. Otherwise it is going to be tough against Negri Sembilan,’’ said Kim Lian.
Negri Sembilan manager Simon Lim was looking to the second leg with optimism.
“The players gave a good account but could not score. We will come back in the return leg and overcome the deficit. We will have to motivate the players,’’ said Simon.
In Penang, former international goalkeeper Ong Yu Tiang’s son Ong Ern Ming scored Selangor’s winning goal against the home side.
Selangor manager Ong Moo Hooi said they could have won by a bigger margin if not for the woodwork.
“We had the upperhand but were denied by the post. But we have the advantage for the second leg. We hope to see our strikers get an early goal to put us on track for an appearance in the final,’’ said Moo Hooi.
The MCFA League comprises eight teams divided into two groups – Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Malacca, Johor, Perak and Kedah. The top two teams, from each group, advanced to the crossover semi-finals.
The MCFA will decide the date and venue for the final. The champions will receive RM10,000 and the runners-up RM4,000.
Second leg semi-finals (kick-off 4.30pm)
Saturday: Selangor vs Penang (Plus Sports Complex, Subang), Kuala Lumpur vs Negri Sembilan (UM Sports Complex, KL).