PETALING JAYA: Pahang winger Christie Jayaseelan hopes his goal in the FA Cup semi-final win over Negri Sembilan will earn him a place in the May 20 final against Kedah.
Christie came in as a substitute and managed to score deep into stoppage time at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi on Saturday for a 2-1 second-leg win. Earlier, South Korean defender Heo Jae-won gave the Elephants the lead with a sixth-minute strike before Negri drew level through Japanese striker Bruno Suzuki in the 68th minute. Pahang reached the final on a 3-1 aggregate.
It was only Christie’s sixth match in four months, having picked up a thigh injury during pre-season.
“I still lack match fitness. But I do hope to get a chance of playing in the final,” said the 31-year-old.
Christie, however, has a fight on his hands.
He will have to dislodge four other wingers – Wan Zaharulnizam Zakaria, Ashaari Shamsuddin, Muhammad Nurridzuan Abu Hassan and Gambian Mohamadou Sumareh – to get a place in the starting XI.
“It’s been a long time since I played in a final. The last final I played in was the Malaysia Cup in 2012 when I was with Armed Forces. Then, we lost to Kelantan. Now I have a chance to win the FA Cup and I want to play a role to help Pahang win the title,” said Christie who previously turned out for club sides PKNS FC (2007), Armed Forces (2012-2015) and Felda United (2016).
“I have been very unlucky with injuries over the years. I’ve recovered fully now. I need more matches to be at my best.
“My plan is to buckle down and work harder in training. There are five more days before the final and I hope to convince the coach (Dollah Salleh) to include me in the squad for the final,” said Christie.
On the win over Negri, Christie said that Dollah told him to help out the attack and defence when he came on as a substitute in the 76th minute.
“I managed to do what the coach told me to do. And I’m glad my goal ended any chance of a Negri fightback,” said the Kajang local.
“I must thank Sumareh for the assist as his pass was inch perfect. It made it easier for me to put the ball into the net.”
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