NEWCOMERS Team Force and former champions Emkay–NPNG have qualified for the Selangor FA Cup final but came through in contrasting ways.
Team Force had to endure a penalty shoot-out with TLDM at the Uniten Sports Complex in Bangi before emerging winners.
The match was decided on spot-kicks after they were deadlocked at 1-1 after extra-time. In the shoot-out, Team Force converted four of their penalties while TLDM could only manage two.
The match was always expected to be a close encounter although TLDM started as favourites given their high-tempo game.
However, Team Force stunned the former champions in the second minute when S. Tamilselvam scored.
TLDM, despite trailing by the early goal, did not allow Team Force the chance to take the upper hand and instead created a few chances of their own. But the equaliser was not forthcoming until the 58th minute when Mohd Zahari Mohd Zaini found the mark.
There were no further goals in regulation time and the match duly went to extra-time and then penalties.
From the spot-kicks, Team Force scored through K. Daniel, Noel Monfred Michael Dass, Chow Yuen Kwai and J. Thevaggaran Nair, while for TLDM, M. Jagen and Mohd Azua Abdul Wahab made their efforts count. But, Azman Nizam Abdullah and Mohd Nur Hamidon missed.
Team Force team manager Datuk N. Thirumoothy said it was a sweet victory for them and added: “TLDM have a good reputation in the Football Association of Selangor league. They were the favourites but our players rose to the occasion and managed to match them.
“The penalty shoot-out could have gone either way. Now, we are looking ahead to the final.
“Emkay-NPNG are also a seasoned side but we can overcome this with commitment and determination. We are certainly approaching the final with optimism,’’ said Thirumoothy.
In the other semifinal, played at the Panasonic Sports Complex in Shah Alam, Emkay-NPNG defeated PKNS 2-0. And the match was an exciting affair as both teams opted to play an attacking game.
PKNS goalkeeper Muhammad Asil Syafiq Sehrifodin and his Emkay-NPNG counterpart Mohd Zaidi Razlee were busy throughout and after a goalless first-half, Emkay-NPNG scored through Wan Mohamad Hamizi Wan Ahmad in the 52nd minute and Ahmad Dashila Tajudin made it 2-0 in the 70th minute.
Emkay-NPNG coach Michael Palani said: “It has been some time since we won silverware in the FAS league. Now we have got the chance to win the FA Cup. But we are not going to underestimate Team Force. They have beaten some of the established teams en route to the final. So we have to respect them,’’ said Palani.
FAS competition committee deputy chairman Datuk S. Sivasundram said the committee would be meeting soon to decide on the date for the final.
“We would like to congratulate Team Force and Emkay-NPNG for qualifying for the final. Both were impressive in the competition and we can now expect the final to be an exciting affair too,’’ added Sivasundram.
Semifinals: Emkay-NPNG bt PKNS 2-0, Team Force bt TLDM 4-2 penalties (1-1).
Group A: Shah Alam City Council bt Selangor Indian Association 3-2.
Group B: Belia Selangor B bt Malaysia Airlines 4-1, Kajang Municipal Council bt Klang Gate 3-1.
Group A: Jeonsa bt Starbrite 2-1, PS-Subang City bt Victoria 2-1.
Group B: Selangor Indian Football Association-West Country bt Sharpees 2-1, Hong Chin bt Tanjung 1-0, SS Cyber Tigers bt Sari Dee 3-1.
Group C: Putra Perwira bt LS-Innowacs 3-2, SV-T Birds bt Darul Ehsan 3-1, C-Semerah bt Perisai 1-0.
Group D: UiTM drew BBPJ 0-0, Seranta bt Puchong Hunters 1-0.
Group A: PPJ drew SP SMUTAA 0-0, Bukit Jalil bt Vulcans 2-0, Forza Maju Jaya bt AU 2 Falcon 2-1, SR-Kota Warisan drew Bukit Kapar 0-0, Bayu Tinggi drew Taman Berjaya 0-0, PNMB bt Lembaga Zakat 2-0.
Group B: Damansara bt TPCA 3-0, Waja bt P Putra Nuha 3-0, Selayang bt Hulu Langat District Football Association-D’Cell United 5-0, Kapar bt Puchong Rovers 5-0, Setia Kelana bt GP Krigger 2-1.
Group C: NR-SSA bt Bangsar Magic 3-1, SS Putra bt Puchong Perdana 2-0, Crown Pegasus drew Tiger Rovers 3-3, KC- Dream FC bt Sunday Cowboys 1-0, PKNS Academy bt SI Cruzeiro 5-0.
Group D: IC-Serdang bt ATM 31 RAD 2-1, T Rawang United drew Iman PJH 1-1, Belia MISC-MIFA bt Kenari Trojan 3-0, B2FC drew G-Belarau 4-4, Cenderawasih bt SL-Zabag 6-0.