KUCHING: As far as Sarawak were concerned, it was a game of mischances throughout the nail-biting second-leg Malaysia Cup semi-final showdown at Stadium Negri last Saturday.
It was a series of missed opportunities that otherwise, could have earned the Crocs a spot in the final for the first time since 1999.
For Pahang, call it luck, but they certainly deserved the 1-1 draw, given their resilience. There is no taking the glory from the Elephants who did quite a lot of trampling last Saturday to confirm their place in the ultimate showdown, winning 4-2 on aggregate.
Dollah Salleh’s charges will face Kelantan at Stadium Shah Alam next Sunday to reclaim the national trophy, a feat they last achieved in 1992.
Despite the defeat, Sarawak coach Robert Alberts praised his side for their “admirable display”, creating over half a dozen scoring chances throughout the 90 minutes, but only one from Bobby Gonzales got past the visitors.
In a calm manner, the Dutchman described Sarawak’s accomplishment as a “big success”.
“We could have won the match and made it to the final. We dominated the game but couldn’t really kill it,” said Alberts, who went on to wish Pahang “all the best” in the final.
Alberts said everyone should be proud of the Crocs, who have emerged among the four best teams in Malaysia.
“We won the Premier League title with an unbeaten record and will make a return to the Super League next year.
“We maintained the unbeaten home run in the Malaysia Cup.
“Honestly I have never expected for us to come this far. For the Super League, we are ready.”
On another matter, Alberts hoped the management would have more funds to acquire quality players for next year, adding that the Super League would be more challenging than ever before.
In addition to Bosnia signing Muamer Salibasic and Cameroon Guy Bwele, Sarawak are
understood to be trying to get an Asian import.
According to Football Association of Sarawak president Datuk Sudarsono Osman, they are also looking at an Australian to fill the quota.