Sabah and Selangor clinched the final two tickets to the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals from Group A and D respectively in contrasting fashion yesterday.
While Sabah coasted to a 4-1 win over Johor in their last Group A fixture at the Larkin Stadium, the Red Giants had to stage a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Kuala Lumpur at the Shah Alam Stadium.
The other teams who had qualified earlier were Perak (Group A), Negri Sembilan, Terengganu (Group B), Kelantan, Felda United (Group C) and T-Team (Group D).
Sabah and Kedah, both with seven points each, were vying for the runners-up slot in Group A going into last night’s matches but the Canaries could only draw 1-1 with Perak at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar. Syafiq Jamal scored for Perak in the 53rd minute before Faizal Abu Bakar equalised for Kedah three minutes later.
Race you to it: Selangor’s Mohd Razman Roslan (left) and Kuala Lumpur’s Mohd Dzaiddin Zainuddin tussling for the ball during their Malaysia Cup Group D match at the Shah Alam Stadium last night. — SHAHRUL FAZRY ISMAIL / The Star In Group D, it was a direct contest between Selangor and Kuala Lumpur for the runners-up slot.Kuala Lumpur needed just a draw while Selangor needed a win.
The Red Giants, who have won the Malaysia Cup a record 32 times, lived dangerously in their do-or-die mission against their Klang Valley rivals before finally prevailing to finish with 10 points in Group D.
Goals from Razman Roslan and skipper Mohd Amri Yahyah in the 66th and 77th minutes respectively completed Selangor’s comeback from a goal down to revive Selangor’s hopes of winning their 33rd Malaysia Cup.
KL dominated the first half and capped it with skipper Mohd Shahrom Abdul Kalam’s bullet of a header in the 38th minute.
But Selangor started the second half with more purpose as they went searching for an early equaliser.
And it duly came, thanks to defender Razman’s effort off a corner kick.
Inspired, Selangor continued to attack and the City boys wilted under the onslaught.
Hard-working skipper Amri proved to be Captain Marvel for the Red Giants when he headed home the winner, also off a corner kick, in the 77th minute.
The win enabled the Red Giants, who were at one time staring at an early exit and who parted ways with coach K. Devan, to finish second in Group D and set up a quarter-final date with Group A champions Perak.