Monday, 12 September 2011

Negri Sembilan in confident mood after second win

Negri Sembilan coach Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah was all smiles after seeing his side thrashed Sime Darby 5-0 at home to record their second straight win in Group B of the Malaysia Cup competition on Saturday.

Negri, 3-2 winners over PKNS in their opening match last Tuesday, now lead Group B on goal difference from Terengganu while PKNS and Sime Darby have no points after two rounds.

Hairuddin Omar took his goal tally in the Malaysia Cup to three with a brace in the 35th and 77th minutes while winger Shahurain Abu Samah (37th), Shukor Adan (67th) and Firdaus Azizul (85th) added to Negri’s scoreline.

However, Azraai is taking the 5-0 demolition job with a pinch of salt as he is aware that the Malaysia Cup campaign won’t be easy as they are set to face FA Cup champions Tereng­ganu tomorrow.

“We played better against Sime Darby compared to our performance against PKNS in our opening match. The big home win has definitely boosted the players’ confidence,” said Azraai.

“We had home ground advantage and we were better prepared for this match and to be honest everything went our way for the big win.

“Our target is to qualify for the quarter-finals and although we are in a comfortable position to achieve it, we still need to be careful.”

Azraai, who led Kedah to back-to-back trebles (FA Cup, Super League and Malaysia Cup) in 2007 and 2008, believes that better preparation for the Malaysia Cup campaign will make the difference.

Hairuddin and Shahurain are now in hot form and that is another plus point for the Deer. They have been on target in the last two fixtures.

The 2009 Malaysia Cup champions were touted as one of the favourites in this season’s Super League but injuries to key players hampered their progress and they finished eighth.

“PKNS managed to hold Terengganu for a long period of the match on Saturday before losing 3-2. But that doesn’t mean that we will have it easy against Terengganu,” said Azraai.

“We will only know their strength when we meet them. Terengganu are the FA Cup champions, so it won’t be easy.

“Hairuddin and Shahurain have rediscovered their scoring touch and it will definitely play a major role as we progress in the Malaysia Cup.”

The Deer lifted the Malaysia Cup in 2009 and finished runners-up last season after losing 2-1 to Kelantan.

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