Negeri Sembilan and Terengganu fans create carnival atmosphere in final
Great expectations and excitement filled the air at the Shah Alam Stadium yesterday as more than 80,000 fans flooded the Shah Alam Stadium hours before kick-off.
The Malaysia Cup final, which saw both Terengganu and Negri Sembilan looking to clinch the most prestigious trophy in Malaysian football, drew a near-capacity crowd after tickets issued to the state associations were sold out long before match day.
The scenes in the car park were like a carnival atmosphere with fans enjoying themselves amid many stalls selling food and football paraphernalia with loud music blaring in the background.
Fans, many of whom were face-painted with Negri Sembilan (yellow-black) or Terengganu (white-black), colours, also donned spectacular costumes.
They exchanged friendly banters with one another, even with rivals.
The crowd, who were in great spirits, despite the formidable presence of enforcement officers, had waited patiently at the stadium grounds as early as 2pm before the gates opened three hours later.
Once inside, the Terengganu half of the venue was filled up quickly as many of their fans had made the long journey to Shah Alam a day before the match.
At the other end, the Negri Sembilan supporters took their time as they trickled into their half.
The rival fans wasted no time in unfurling banners among them which read "Penyu Mengamuk Lagi" (turtles on the warpath again) and "Hobin jang hobin".
The stadium soon reverberated to the tune of more than 70,000 fans who cheered, sang and waved their state flags with full fervour amid drums beating in the background.
The fans were also entertained with performances from cheerleaders and also a marching band.
The stadium erupted into cheers as the players from the two teams took their turns to inspect the field, which looked lush green in some areas but patchy in other places.
Among the VIPs who turned up for the Malaysia Cup final were Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said, Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.