PETALING JAYA: Breathtaking football, a happy coach and ecstatic fans – Terengganu are hitting all the right notes in recent months.
The Turtles are just one step away from securing a spot in the Malaysia Cup semi-final after taking down Selangor 2-0 in the first leg quarter-finals at the Sultan Mizan Stadium in Gong Badak on Saturday.
Croatian striker Ivan Mamut scored the first goal by burying a penalty in the 42nd minute and young striker Syahmi Zamri got his first goal of the season in all competitions by scoring in the 94th minute.
They dominated possession and created the most chances, 20 in total compared to Selangor’s 11.
What’s important is the fact that Terengganu are unbeaten in seven games in all competitions and have been playing some good football, which has left coach Tomislav Steinbruckner smiling after every game.
And this time, Steinbruckner praised the youngsters like Syahmi, centrebacks Safwan Mazlan and Ubaidullah Samsul Fazili, who made a good impact against Selangor.
“My boys and the fans were brilliant. The atmosphere was amazing, the game was beautiful and I’m happy,” said Steinbruckner.
“We had many chances that we missed in the first half but our football was good.
“We knew we could not afford any individual mistakes against a team like Selangor. And the boys did good in the first leg.
“However, we did live dangerously in some moments but we managed it well. We fielded several youngsters and Syahmi netted his first goal, which I’m happy about.
“This win is for everyone. This glory is for everyone.
“My assistants gave me good ideas and I know the youngsters had brought in fresh approach. We can depend on the young boys who train hard every week.
“It shows our academy is doing well.”
Selangor coach Tan Cheng Hoe said the team lacked the cutting-edge in the first half and bemoaned the missed chances in the second.
“We could not control the game in the first half and missed some chances. We conceded a sloppy penalty and Terengganu were good. They were consistent and deserved the result,” said Cheng Hoe.
“We had better control in the second half but I was shocked with some of our missed chances.
On the return leg, he said: “We have no choice but to go all out if we want to reach the semi-finals.”