PENANG: Vengeance will be on the mind of the Penang Panthers when they meet the Perlis Lions in a Premier I match at the State Stadium in Batu Kawan tonight.
For the same foe were the side that ignominiously dumped Penang, the defending champions out of the FA Cup on Wednesday with a 3-2 aggregate win.
In tonight's clash, the third within 10 days between the two teams, Penang have vowed to come out tops this time around.
In the first leg FA Cup tie on March 12, Penang triumphed 2-1 but in the return leg in Kangar, Perlis won 2-0 to go through on a 3-2 aggregate.
Penang coach Irfan Bakti say they have got over their FA Cup exit and will be going all out to get full points tonight.
“Our target of staying in the top three of the standings still remains despite the disappointment of going out in the FA Cup,” said Irfan.
“With the FA Cup off our minds, we can now focus on Premier I, beginning with tonight's match against Perlis.”
Last Saturday, Penang were knocked off the top of the standings after they lost 2-3 to unheralded Kelantan.
Another impetus for Penang tonight is keeping up their unbeaten home run and it is not being helped by injuries to several key players.
Midfielders S. Gopinath and R. Suresh Kumar are nursing a knee injury and a fractured nose respectively while striker Wan Rohaimi Ismail is doubtful after sustaining an ankle strain.
The plus point for Irfan is the return of Argentine striker Gustavo Romero who has been out of action following a fractured jaw in the season opener against Selangor which Penang won 1-0.
On the other hand, Perlis will have back their prized goal-getter Phillimon Chepita who did not play in the second leg FA Cup tie on Wednesday.