History on Terengganu’s side
might be in the Premier League now but Terengganu fans expect no less than a win in the state derby against Kuala Terengganu T-Team in tomorrow’s FA Cup third round showdown.
Terengganu coach Irfan Bakti Abu Salim knows that expectations will be high despite the fact that T-Team start as favourites given their status as a Super League team.
However, history favours Terengganu, who lost only once to T-Team in 14 meetings since 2010, ironically in the FA Cup that same year.
While T-Team won the first leg of the quarter-finals 3-1, Terengganu bounced back to take the return leg 4-1 after extra-time and advance to the semi-finals.
Even last year, when a woeful Terengganu finished bottom of the Super League, T-Team only managed a 0-0 draw before going down 2-1 in their two meetings.
“We have always got the better of T-Team over the years and our fans expect the same result this time,” Irfan told Timesport yesterday. “Even though T-Team are in the Super League, we are aiming to win.”
Terengganu enter the tie at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium, which both teams call home, on the back of three successive wins over Kuala Lumpur, Perlis and Armed Forces to sit second in the Premier League standings after eight matches.
In contrast, T-Team have not won in five matches in all competitions, are in eighth spot in the Super League and needed penalties to overcome lowly Forces in the last round of the FA Cup.
On the other hand, T-Team have not been beaten in five matches in Kuala Terengganu this season, ensuring Terengganu will not have it their own way tomorrow.
“For the last three games the players have done well and the combinations have started to click.
“I’m sure we will do fine this season,” added Irfan, who is without Latif Suhaimi, the scorer of the only goal against third-tier Felcra in the second round.
Terengganu goalkeeper Sharbinee Allawee Ramli is still sidelined due to a lung infection while centre-back Izuan Jarudin is also out injured.