Kelantan and Terengganu set for early battle in quarter finals
Given a choice, Super League champions Kelantan and FA Cup winners Terengganu would have preferred to avoid each other this early in the Malaysia Cup.
But the teams will square-off against each other in the quarter-finals -- a repeat of this year's FA Cup final -- after Terengganu failed to top Group B when group leaders Negri Sembilan managed to hold them to a goalless draw in Kuala Terengganu on Tuesday.
Kelantan, meanwhile, emerged Group C winners after beating Felda United 2-0 in Kota Baru on the same day which allowed the club side to make a date with Negri Sembilan in the quarter-finals on Oct 10 and Oct 14.
Kelantan coach M. Karathu said it was unfortunate that either Kelantan or Terengganu, who are genuine title contenders, will have to bow out early.
"Both teams are arguably the best in the country this season and it will be a pity to see one leave the competition early," said Karathu.
"Honestly speaking, I thought Terengganu would have beaten Negri Sembilan but that is football I guess."
Terengganu coach Irfan Bakti said his team dominated the first 15 minutes before the match was halted for almost an hour due to bad weather.
"We were creating chances from the first whistle but we lost our dominance when play resumed after the storm," said Irfan.
Thankful that none of his players picked up injuries, Irfan said it was not all that bad meeting Kelantan in the quarter-finals.
"If not in the quarter-finals, the teams would have to face each other sooner or later, so we might as well get this over with as soon as possible.
"This is also good for the fans as I do not think there is a bigger match than the face-off between the two East Coast teams," he said.