PETALING JAYA: Centreback Thiago Junio wants to pull off the impossible again by taking Felda United into the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Cup.
Felda are in a precarious spot in Group D as they have only collected one point from three matches and they must beat Melaka today at the Hang Jebat Stadium to stay alive in the competition.
The Brazilian player said it was possible to come out of their difficult situation based on the team’s recent experience in the Super League.“We needed to win at least three of our last five matches in the Super League, and we somehow did it. I believe the boys can do the same thing in the Malaysia Cup, ” said the 35-year-old Thiago.
“The game against Melaka will be our most important match. Our challenge ends here if we lose.”
In their first three matches, the Fighters drew 2-2 with Selangor at the Shah Alam Stadium but lost their next two games – to Police (3-4) and Melaka (1-3).
Coach Nidzam Jamil rued his team’s lack of mental fortitude in previous defeats and Thiago agreed that they need to cut down on their mistakes.
“We must not concede goals. Whenever that happens, we tend to lose our focus. We must be alert all the time against a side like Melaka.
“In the Malaysia Cup, there are no favourites... anyone can win the competition. Right now, we have nothing to lose, and I hope the lads will only think of giving their best.”
Melaka have performed well and are top in the group with seven points.
The side led by experienced coach Zainal Abidin Hassan are beginning to find their groove in the competition as they have six goals in three matches.
Thiago said there were several Melaka players that they needed to keep their eyes on.
“Safiq (Rahim) is still one of the best midfielders in the country. Also, their No. 7 (Dominik Balic) looks dangerous from the middle, ” said Thiago.
“They supply the goods to No. 10 (Luka Milunovic).
“If we stop that supply line, then we have a bigger chance of winning.
“But our boys need to be clinical too. Whatever chances we have, we must take them.
“I believe the boys in Felda will come good in this competition, and also in the future. We will fight until the end.”