Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Defending champions Kelantan to play Singapore in opening match of 2012 season

Expect nail-biting clashes on the opening day of the 2012 Super League season, which kicks-off on Jan 10.

Defending champions Kelantan will travel across the Causeway to take on Singapore's LionsXII at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

The match will mark Singapore's return to Malaysian football after a 17-year hiatus and it is expected to bring out the best of both teams.

LionsXII, coached by former international V. Sundramoorthy, have named a mixed squad of seniors and Under-23 players for the M-League. They will also compete in the Malaysia Cup and FA Cup.

As for Kelantan, also  FA Cup runners-up, they are determined to get off to a good start in the league.

The team, led by national striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, have signed  several big names this season, among them  former international Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Norfarhan Mohamad and Lebanese striker Mohammed Ghaddar.

Kelantan will also be involved in the season opener Charity Shield, where they will face Malaysia Cup champions Negri Sembilan, in Kota Baru on Jan 7.

Reigning FA Cup champions Terengganu begin their campaign with a trip to Perak, while perennial challengers Selangor, who finished third last season, play Negri in Paroi.

Newly-promoted sides PKNS FC and Sarawak kick off against Johor FC and Kuala Lumpur respectively, while Terengganu-based T-Team face Kedah.

Those anticipating a rematch between last season's top two will have to wait until Feb 11 when Kelantan play host to Terengganu in Kota Baru.

Selangor fans looking to relive the Malaysia Cup glory days  will have to wait patiently until Feb 7 to resume their old rivalry with Singapore at the National Stadium, while the second match is scheduled on June 23.

Sabah will be looking to improve on last season's 10th placing when they start their campaign against Felda United.

The Borneo side have a decent squad, marshalled by last season's Premier League top scorer Bobby Gonzales and Australian duo Brendan Gan and Michael Baird.

FA of Malaysia local competitions chairman Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said the venues and timing of matches would be finalised tomorrow.

"We have completed the fixtures but there could be minor changes in terms of scheduling, venues and timing during the league," said Hamidin yesterday.

The Super League is scheduled to end on July 14. As for the Premier League, the competition, comprising 12 teams, starts on Jan 9 and ends on July 13.

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