Monday, 20 February 2012

Defending champions Terengganu thrash Police in FA Cup

Defending champions Terengganu sounded a clear warning that they intend to keep the FA Cup by thrashing Police 4-0 in the first round at the Sultan Ismail Stadium on Saturday night.

Strikers Abdul Manaf Mamat (two goals) and Abdul Hadi Yahya finally found the net this season after firing blanks in Super League action while in-form hitman Francis Forkey Doe completed the rout.

Coach Mat Zan Mat Aris said the big win was just the tonic his team needed to regain their confidence after a poor run of results in the league.

“The players, especially Manaf and Hadi, really needed this game to regain their scoring touch.

“I’m delighted as they worked hard throughout the game. It shows that we are almost back to our best,” he said.

The Turtles have stumbled in recent matches, losing 1-0 to Kelantan and drawing 1-1 with Kedah, but Mat Zan feels yesterday’s win is the turning point of their season.

“We could have scored more goals but I’m satisfied with the overall performance,” he said.

“The midfield, especially Ismail Faruqi, was outstanding, supplying the strikers with sublime passes all over the park,” he said.

Mat Zan was even more bullish as the Turtles had earned the big win despite the absence of their entire starting back-line. Muslim Ahmad and ZubirAzmi are with the national Under-23 pre-Olympic team while Faizal Muhammad and captain Marzuki Yusof are injured.

“The team showed great quality and fighting spirit… that is what is needed to win matches.

“We will definitely build on this to make a run for all the trophies available,” he said.

Mat Zan has already set his sights on the team’s second round opponents Perak, who beat them in the league.

“We will be looking for payback against Perak. Revenge will be sweet,” he said.

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