Perak through to FA Cup final

Perak's Leandro Dos Santos (left) and Pahang's Muhammad Nor Azam both go for the ball in the FA Cup semi-finals second leg at the Perak Stadiun in Ipoh. Perak won the match 3-0 and the tie with a 4-3 aggregate score. – Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Perak has made it to the FA Cup final after defeating defending champions Pahang 4-3 on aggregate.

The northern side, who lost the first leg of the semi-finals 3-1 at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan, pulled off a huge comeback when they beat Pahang 3-0 at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh on Saturday (June 29).

It was a similar scenario to the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals in 2017, when Perak beat Pahang 5-3 on aggregate after winning the return fixture 4-0 in Ipoh.

Even without the likes of striker Ronaldo Silva, right back Amirul Azhan Aznan and left back Nazirul Naim, Mehmet Durakovic's side were in the mood to mount a comeback, and they completed that plan in the first half.

From the start, the Seladangs showed high intensity and hunger with most of the possession and showed excellent attacking verve in the first 45 minutes.

Brendan Gan drew first blood for Perak when his header off a Firdaus Saiyadi corner found the right corner of Pahang's goal in the 34th minute.

Seven minutes later, pacy winger J. Parthiban – who scored Perak's away goal in Kauntan – benefited from a brilliant through ball from Careca and the 26-year-old placed the ball in the right-hand corner of Helmi Eliza Elias' goal.

A minute later, a cross driven in from Norhakim Hassan from the left was deflected in by Pahang left back Faisal Rosli to give Perak a resounding 3-0 in the first half.

In the second half, the Elephants had most of the possession, but it was Perak who created the most chances.

A free kick in the 77th minute summed up Pahang's miserable night after Safuwan Baharuddin blazed his shot into the terraces.

The introduction of Faisal Halim and Saddil Ramdani in the 80th showed some positive signs as they made forays from the flanks.

Saddil even let loose a stinging shot in the 81st minute, but his left-footed strike went wide.

Perak thought they had another goal in the 85th minute when Norhakim crossed from the left and Parthiban connected well, but Helmi Eliza pulled off a superb save to deny Perak their fourth goal.

The whistle blew with the score at 3-0.

Perak will now play in its sixth FA Cup final. They won the first FA Cup in 1990 by beating Selangor 4-2, and 14 years later, they won their second FA Cup by beating Terengganu 3-0.

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