KEDAH Malays have qualified for the semi-finals of the Sultan’s Gold Cup soccer competition with a 3-1 aggregate score.
They were held to a scoreless draw by UiTM in the second leg quarter-final match at the Darulaman Stadium.
In the first leg match on Nov 29, seven-time former champions Kedah had beaten UiTM 3-1 with goals from Rozaidi Abdul Rahim, Nuqusyaiki Chik and Mohd Syafiq Ahmad while UiTM replied through Mohd Shafiq Mokhtar.
Kedah will meet Terengganu in a home and away semi-final encounter.
The first leg is scheduled to be held at the Darulaman Stadium on Dec 8 and the return match in Kuala Terengganu on Dec 15.
Terengganu qualified for the semi-finals by beating Pahang 6-2 on aggregate in another quarter-final clash.
Terengganu lost to Pahang 1-2 in the first leg but trounced them 5-0 in the return leg o qualify.
For the second leg match, Kedah fans were expecting something special from their team based on the 3-1 away victory but were left disappointed by their insipid performance at home.
Kedah kicked off the match but it was the visitors who dictated terms with their industrious display to frustrate their host.
Shafiq Mokhtar on the left and Mohd Firdaus Faris on the right were a constant pain to the Kedah defence with their speedy runs down the flanks.
Their display had the Kedah defence in sixes and sevens on several occasions, resulting in desperate clearances.
Kedah were let down by their lack of finesse and failure to capitalise on the chances that they had created.
The quick and energetic UiTM players never allowed the Kedah team to settle down and created good goal scoring chances.
But the UiTM pair of Fadzren Alias and Ahmad Syahir Ismail were off target with their attempts from close range, allowing Kedah to keep their goal intact.
The second half saw a more committed Kedah breaching the UiTM defence on several occasions but a lack of imagination and focus robbed them of goals.
With neither side able to get the better of the other, anxiety crept into the game resulting in frequent fouls and referee Mohd Amirul Izwan Yaacob had to book a number of players to keep control.
Kedah’s Mohd Hazwan Zainun was given the marching orders in the 67th minute for a second bookable offence.
Mohd Hazwan will miss both the semi-final matches against Terenggnu.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Kedah created three good chances to try and break the deadlock but UiTM goalkeeper Afiff Adzad Azman was equal to the task of protecting is goal.
In one instance, Nuqusyairi rounded up he defence on the right and laid a pass to Abdul Muis Talib but his weak shot went straight into the arms of Afiff Adzad in the 76th minute.
Kedah had one last chance to seal the match but Mohd Syafiq’s shot was tipped over for a corner by Afiff Adzad.
Thereafter, both teams were content to share the spoils.
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