Nov 03, 2021 - FAS
There's no feeling like winning in football as they say; except winning big, of course.
That is exactly what happened in Selangor FC's latest match, when our boys turned in a five-star performance to trounce Kuching City FC 5-1 at home in their Group B TM Malaysia Cup Matchday 3 clash last Saturday.
The win secured Red Giants with three more points and placed us comfortably in second place in the standings, on course for qualifying for the knockout stage.
Tonight, the Karsten Neitzel's boys will head to Tan Sri Dato' Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium, Larkin for the return fixture against Kuching City, a match that offers two possible advantages should we win.
While Selangor is in second place with six points, we are three points behind the group leader, Terengganu FC who will face Perak FC simultaneously tonight. If Terengganu and Selangor both secure a win, both teams will secure their places in the quarter-final stage.
However, if Selangor win and Terengganu drop points, the Red Giants may close the gap with the East Coast giant, ahead of their tantalizing Matchday 5 clash at MBPJ Stadium this Sunday.
"Recovery and video analysis sessions have been conducted after the match to see what we could have done better, but most importantly, all of our players are fresh for tonight's match and hope to repeat last weekend's performance."
In this second ever encounter between the two sides, the home team is expected to be more wary against us, playing a more compact and defensive game in order to avoid a repeat of their previous hammering. But Neitzel, who has high hopes in his team, insists on maintaining the same gameplan.
"We need to commit to the same style in this game - that is the biggest challenge. The same commitment, the same attitude, especially when our tactical behaviours have improved over the last months. Despite the win, tonight's match starts again at 0-0 and we need to work very, very hard to collect our next three points."
With no additional injuries picked up from the last game, the only players expected to be unavailable are the long-term absentees such as Tim Heubach, Brendan Gan, Halim Saari, Manuel Konrad and R. Dinesh, while Wan Zack Haikal and Ifedayo Olusegun both still remain unfit.
In the meantime, young guns Mukhairi Ajmal, Harith Haiqal, Zikri Khalili, and Sikh Izhan who helped Malaysia U-23 qualify for the 2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup finals last Sunday are undergoing quarantine and will miss tonight's clash.
Our team travelled with great spirits and good condition to Larkin, with a mission to bring back three more points from the match and send us through to the Piala Malaysia knockout stage.
By Zulhilmi Zainal