The finale, the match that closes the curtain on Malaysian football in 2018, the Malaysia Cup final will also be the deciding factor which out of Perak and Terengganu FC is the better team. This will be the third final that both teams have contested together in, with both teams having won one final each.
Earlier in the Super League this season, Perak won the home match 3-2 while Terengganu won their home match 2-0. Paired together in Group A of the Malaysia Cup, Perak lost the home match 3-4 while Terengganu lost their home match 1-2.
As luck would have it, the result between the two teams is tied at 1-1 in the Malaysia Cup final and 2-2 in the 2018 season, so it’s almost like fate took its own course and decided that one more match is needed to find a winner between Perak and Terengganu.
The potential banana skin for Perak in the run to the final was not the semi-final clash against Sabah but rather the quarterfinals against PKNS FC, a team which they have not been able to beat in four meetings this year.
Mehmet Durakovic’s team managed to navigate their way past The Red Ants after winning 0-2 away, following a nil-nil draw in Ipoh. The team is reliant on the attacking pairing of Gilmar Filho and Wander Luiz to be the threat up front and it’s a very complimentary pairing.
The Brazilian duo brings to the table a variation in their respective game that gives Perak just the right combination that defenders fear. Gilmar has the physical prowess and the ability to be in the right place inside the box while Wander has the guile and creativity with that left leg of his that works like a wand.
Comparatively, the Terengganu team could be looked at as the more industrious side of the two teams. In Lee Tuck who easily clocks the highest mileage in any match, they have someone who has the craft but also put in his fair shift of work.
Of course, the danger up front is Tchetche Kipre, the talismanic skipper for Terengganu. His goals in the second leg against mighty Johor Darul Ta’zim were what took his team to the final and there were palpable fear in the stands at Tan Sri Dato Hj Hassan Yunos Stadium, every time Kipre has the ball at his feet.
There will be interesting battles all over the pitch as well with Faiz Nasir or Ashaari Samsudin going up against Leandro dos Santos, Kamal Azizi trying to stop the penetrative runs of Nor Hakim Hassan and J. Parthiban attempting to stop the team that gave him his professional bow.
Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday will be filled to the brim with both sets of fans looking forward to end a long winless run in the Malaysia Cup. A battle between the two teams who have been neck and neck for a majority of the season – it is high time a winner is found between the two teams.
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