Ir­fan plot­ting Sarawak down­fall

New Straits Times - - Sport -

HAV­ING beaten one Su­per League team to reach the FA Cup quar­ter-fi­nals, Tereng­ganu coach Ir­fan Bakti Abu Salim sees no rea­son why his team can­not re­peat the feat when they host Sarawak in the first leg to­mor­row.

A 1-0 vic­tory over state derby ri­vals Kuala Tereng­ganu T-Team in the third round has in­stilled con­fi­dence in Premier League pro­mo­tion chasers Tereng­ganu.

But they left it to the very last minute of ex­tra-time to set­tle the tie with a goal by Lut­fulla Tu­raev earn­ing Tereng­ganu a last-eight spot.

Aside from the Premier League ti­tle, Ir­fan be­lieves the FA Cup rep­re­sents an­other chance for Tereng­ganu to win hon­ours this sea­son, a tour­na­ment they won in 2000 and 2011.

“By beat­ing T-Team I think we showed that the gap be­tween us and the Su­per League teams is not that big,” Ir­fan told Time­s­port yes­ter­day.

“It has given us con­fi­dence to take on the Su­per League teams and while Sarawak are yet an­other Su­per League side, I think we are ca­pa­ble of do­ing some­thing. But we have to be care­ful not to con­cede a goal be­fore we go to Kuch­ing for the sec­ond leg (on Apr 21).”

Ir­fan how­ever will have to plot vic­tory in the first leg at the Sul­tan Is­mail Nasirud­din Shah Sta­dium with­out sus­pended duo Issey Naka­jima-Far­ran and Fir­daus Faudzi.

Tereng­ganu, one of four Premier League sides in the quar­ter­fi­nals of the FA Cup, cur­rently sit in sec­ond place in the table, four points be­hind lead­ers Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan.

Ir­fan does not think their FA Cup run will ham­per their bid to re­turn to the Su­per League at the first at­tempt fol­low­ing last year’s rel­e­ga­tion.

“I think we can han­dle both at the same time,” he said. “We just need to take each match at a time. I would very much like to make the semi-fi­nals of the FA Cup and maybe play Kedah. That would be a real test for us.”

The win­ners of the Tereng­ganu-Sarawak tie will face ei­ther Su­per League lead­ers Kedah or Perak SEDC in the last four.

Ir­fan Bakti

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.