His­tory on Terengganu’s side

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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.

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