Pahang sunk by Turtles in FA Cup semi-finals


BY ERIC SAMUEL

KUANTAN: Terengganu destroyed fancied Pahang's dreams of a “treble” when they knocked out the inaugural Super League champions in the semi-finals of the FA Cup competition at the Darulmakmur Stadium here last night. 

The star-studded Pahang cast were made to eat humble pie as they were unable to contain a gutsy Premier League side and although they managed a 2-1 draw in the return-leg of the semi-finals in front of a bumper home crowd of 25,000 fans, it just was not good enough. 

Terengganu, who won the first-leg 2-0, qualified 3-2 on aggregate. 

Mohamed Fadzli Shaari sent the Pahang fans into a frenzy with the opening goal in the 50th minute but Brazilian Dos Santos doused the Pahang celebrations when he netted the equaliser a minute later.  

The goal was good enough to see Terengganu into the final against Perak at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sept 25. 

Pahang's Mamadou Dialo got another goal in injury time but it too late to salvage the game. 

The Elephants, who had been unbeaten at home all season, needed an early goal but to their surprise found the opponents' defence tight with towering Mohamed Sillah of Sierra Leone and skipper Zulharisan Awang holding the fort well. 

After the first half hour, it was obvious that it was going to be difficult for Pahang. Coach Zainal Abidin Hassan was forced to use all his three substitutes within 35 minutes in the first-half. 

Striker Anthony Malicic was the first to go with a shoulder injury as early in the 10th minute.  

He was replaced by Azizul Kamaluddin and 10 minutes later midfielder Juzaili Samion limped out and was replaced by Shahrulnizam Sahat. 

Skipper Rosdi Talib added more woes when he too limped out with 10 minutes before the breather and was replaced by Hairul Nizam Haniff. 

The game ended goalless at half time. Golden Boot winner Indra Putra Mahayuddin, playing in an attacking midfield role, had the ball at the back of the net in the 13th minute but was disallowed for off-side.  

Pahang finally found their mark after the breather when Fadzli coolly chested Azizul Kamaluddin's cross and hit it first time past a stretched Terengganu custodian Syamsuri in the 50th minute. 

The Pahang celebrations barely lasted a minute. Santos, who was a real menace with his darting runs, punished the Pahang defence when he sneaked into the box from a quick counter attack to equalise in the 51st minute. 

Pahang: Azmin Azram Abdul Aziz, Abdul Ghani Malek, Shahril Faizal, Mamdou Diallo, Anthony Malicic (Azizul Kamaluddin), Simon Colosimo, Juzaili Samion (Shahrulnizam Sahat), Mohd Fadzli Shaari, Rosdi Talib (Hairul Nizam Haniff), Irwan Fadli Idrus, Indra Putra Mahayuddin. 

Terengganu: Syamsuri Mustaffa, Rossli Husin, Nor Fazly Alias, Zairo Anuar Zalani (Tengku Alias Ibrahim), Dos Santos, Mohd Shahrul Ezrain, Mohd Norhisyam Hassan (Syed Redzuan Abdullah), Zulharsian Awang, Mazuki Yusof, Mohamed Sillah, Alfa Potowabawi. 

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