Monday, June 03, 2013

FA Cup: Johor DT Beat Pahang On Away-goal Advantage To Proceed To Final

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 (Bernama) -- Johor Darul Takzim (Johor DT) advanced to the FA Cup Final 2013 despite losing 1-2 to Pahang in the second-leg of the semifinals at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, here Saturday night.

Johor DT qualified on the away-goal advantage despite the 2-2 aggregate after winning 1-0 in the first-leg semifinal at the Stadium Tan Sri Hassan Yunos, Larkin on May 25.

The second-leg semifinal was supposed to be held at the Stadium Darul Makmur, Kuantan on May 28 but it was aborted following the commotion caused by supporters of both teams.

In the match tonight, Johor DT coached by former Singapore football legend, Fandi Ahmad were clearly overwhelmed in the first half when they were relentlessly attacked by the Pahang strikers.

Following the relentless attacks, Argentinian import Matias Ruben Conti placed the East Coast team ahead as early as the second minute when he connected the pass from Amirul Hadi Zainal, tying the aggregate at 1-1.

Jolted by the goal, Fandi brought in K. Thanaraj to replace Irfan Abdul Ghani in the 21st minute to strengthen the Johor DT back line to block the relentless attempts at goal by the Pahang players.

The change could not prevent the Pahang attackers from breaching the Johor DT defence when the Pahang team scored the second goal in the 40th minute, again through the effort of Conti who connected the pass from Amirul Hadi.

In the second half, Fandi made a tactical change by emphasising on the attacking aspect.

This resulted in Brazilian import Andrezinho reducing the gap in the 48th minute to tie up the aggregate at 2-2.

Attempts by both sides to add their scoreline were unfruitful until the final whistle by referee Syed Azhar Syed Kamar, which enabled Johor DT to qualify for the final based on the away-goal advantage.

Johor DT will face defending champion, Kelantan in the FA Final on June 29 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

Kelantan advanced to the final after beating next-door neighbour, Terengganu on a 6-5 aggregate after both legs were played on May 25 in Kota Baharu and May 28 in Kuala Terengganu.

For the record, Johor emerged the FA Cup champion in 1998 after beating Sabah, 1-0.

-- BERNAMA

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