KUALA NERUS: Playing with 10 players towards the end of the game, pushed all the way by Terengganu FC, Selangor nevertheless managed to step into the final Malaysia Cup 2022 despite losing 1-0 in the second semi-final, just now.
The 3-1 victory in Petaling Jaya, last Wednesday allowed the Red Giants to advance to the final 3-2 on aggregate, and will then face Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in Bukit Jalil this Saturday.
This was Selangor’s first final in six years, thus putting Tan Cheng Hoe’s men on course for their 34th title.
As expected, the hosts went on the attack from the start of the game in search of a goal and had the best chance through Kipre Tchetche’s volley in the 12th minute, but the ball went slightly high over the target.
The failure of TFC goalkeeper Rahadiazli Rahalim to read Brendan Gan’s pass almost punished Selangor, fortunately Nor Hakim Hassan’s header went wide when the goal was already open in the 21st minute.
TFC’s efforts then bore fruit after in the 35th minute, Tchetche grabbed Faisal’s swipe from the left and reduced Selangor’s advantage.
The goal boosted Sang Peny’s morale with Faisal once again threatening the Selangor fortress but his powerful shot a minute later was deflected by Khairulazhan Mohd. Khalid.
Continuing the second half, the atmosphere was filled with cheers from 33,350 fans after Tchetche finished Petrus Shitembi’s move but the goal was disallowed for offside in the 56th minute.
TFC continued to rally to tie the aggregate position after Manuel Ott’s effort (m-63) was followed by Arif Fadzilah Abu Bakar’s (m-65) fast shot that just rattled the net at the edge of the goal.
Sang Peny’s defense was almost caught by Brendan Gan in the 67th minute, but fortunately the national player’s push as a result of Mukhairi Ajmal Mahadi’s pass slid to the side.
The Red Giants squad was alarmed by a second yellow card on import defender Yazan Al-Arab in the 87th minute before the referee gave seven minutes of added time.
TFC failed to take advantage of that advantage, instead Selangor continued to bravely defend the 3-2 aggregate until the final whistle and advance to the final for the first time since 2016. – ONLINE MESSENGER
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