Mousedeer hope roar of home crowd can help them tame Southern Tigers


No fear: Melaka’s Norshahrul Idlan Talaha taking on two Johor Darul Ta’zim players during their Super League match at the Hang Jebat Stadium last Saturday. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Melaka coach Mohd Asri Ninggal hopes that the home crowd can give them an edge in their FA Cup quarter-final clash against eight-time Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) on July 23.

“We can’t choose who we want to play once we’re in the quarter-finals. We just played JDT a few days ago and our players won’t be too intimidated,’’ said Asri after the draw on Tuesday.

“The players need to be fully focused till the last minute and, hopefully, the presence of a big crowd at the Hang Jebat Stadium will make a difference,” he said.

Last Saturday, the Mousedeer held JDT 1-1 despite missing several key players in their league match at home.

Meanwhile, in other FA Cup last-eight match-ups, three-time champions Pahang will face Penang at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan while Sabah take on the winner of the second-round tie between Selangor and last season’s Malaysia Cup champions Kuala Lumpur at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu.

Another quarter-final tie sees sole Premier League representatives Kuching City facing off against the winner of another second-round encounter between two-time champions Terengganu and 2019 winners Kedah.

Kuching City coach Irfan Bakti said his side were ready to face either Terengganu or Kedah, adding that being the underdogs would only help their cause.

“Terengganu are finding their rhythm while Kedah, with many new imports, are also getting stronger if you look at their performance in the AFC Cup.

“We’ll need some luck to create an upset,” said Irfan.

All four quarter-final fixtures are scheduled to take place on July 23 and will be on a single-match knockout format.

The FA Cup was last held in 2019. The 2020 and 2021 competitions did not take place because of Covid-19.

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