History book beckons Perak SEDC
SEDC are looking to build on their good showing in the Premier League by advancing to the FA Cup quarter-finals tomorrow in what would be a historic achievement for the newly-promoted club.
Coach Abu Bakar Fadzim’s side are playing in the FA Cup for the first time in the tournament’s 28year history and have already eliminated Super League team Kelantan on penalties in the second round.
Should they overcome fellow second-tier club Kuantan in tomorrow’s third round clash in Ipoh, Perak SEDC can look forward to a two-legged last-eight tie against top-level opposition.
Abu Bakar said the exposure of playing against top teams will stand his team in good stead as they continue on an uncharterred journey through professional football after finishing runners-up in the third-tier FAM Cup last year.
“We have a chance of creating history by reaching the quarterfinals but we shouldn’t be satisfied with that,” said Abu Bakar, whose side are largely made up of Perak’s Malaysia Games gold medal-winning teams from 2014 and 2016.
“Of course we need to beat Kuantan first and that is not going to be easy. We have already met in the Premier League (which Perak SEDC won 2-0) and they should be familiar with us.
“But the players are ready and they know that if we lose this match we are out of the competition. So I hope they give it their all.”
Perak SEDC are currently third in the Premier League standings with 15 points and only three points behind Terengganu, who occupy the second promotion slot to the Super League.
With three matches remaining before the halfway point, Perak SEDC are also poised to qualify for the Malaysia Cup for the first time, though that battle will likely go down to the wire with even eighth-placed Kuala Lumpur, on 11 points, not out of the running.
Abu Bakar hopes to have striker Gilberto Fortunato back from injury after the Brazilian missed their last two matches, both 1-1 draws against Darul Ta’zim II and Sabah.
“It has not been easy playing with just two foreigners but I know I can depend on the local players because they are eager to show what they can do,” added Abu Bakar.
The rest of the third round matches take place on Saturday with two all-Super League ties pitching Perak against Kedah and Pahang against Malacca.