Darul Ta’zim set to be crowned as kings to­day

New Straits Times - - Sport -

DARUL Ta’zim are poised to lift their fourth con­sec­u­tive Su­per League ti­tle when they face Se­lan­gor in Se­layang to­day.

The league lead­ers hold an 11point ad­van­tage over sec­ond­placed Kedah with four matches to play and could even seal the deal with a draw should Kedah fal­ter against Pa­hang in Kuantan.

But Darul Ta’zim can set­tle the is­sue once and for all by beat­ing Se­lan­gor and go into the break for the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games par­ty­ing for a month.

Af­ter rout­ing Tereng­ganu 5-0 on Tues­day to se­cure pas­sage to the Malaysia Cup quar­ter-fi­nals, Darul Ta’zim coach Ulisses Mo­rais said his play­ers are ea­ger to get the job done.

“Although I have won eight games since tak­ing over as head coach, I can­not be too sat­is­fied,” said Mo­rais.

“It’s be­cause at Darul Ta’zim, we al­ways want to win and will do our best to achieve it.

“The play­ers un­der­went train­ing ses­sions well and the re­sults are very sat­is­fac­tory. The im­por­tant thing to me is con­fi­dence.

“On my first day in Jo­hor, I al­ready had high con­fi­dence on Darul Ta’zim in the Su­per League, and now we are get­ting closer to win­ning it.”

De­spite los­ing Brazil­ian cen­tre­back Mar­cos An­to­nio San­tos to in­jury, Fadhli Shas has stepped up ad­mirably to mar­shal the de­fence and has even pro­duced at the other end, scor­ing in three of Darul Ta’zim’s last four games.

“Re­gard­ing Fadhli Shas, he’s a qual­ity player and showed a good game,” said Mo­rasi. “The coach­ing staff is very happy with his per­for­mance as well as other play­ers. It in­di­rectly fa­cil­i­tated our job to do our best.

“Pre­vi­ously we had four cen­tre­backs in Mar­cos An­to­nio, Fadhli Shas, Ju­nior Eld­stal and Aidil Za­fuan (Radzak), but now we are down to three. How­ever, our con­fi­dence in them is still the same as when we had Mar­cos.”

Darul Ta’zim and Se­lan­gor will face off again on Sept 9 in the fi­nal Malaysia Cup group stage match in Larkin, which will de­ter­mine who fin­ishes top of Group D.

Coach P. Ma­niam rested sev­eral play­ers, in­clud­ing goal­keeper No­ra­zlan Razali, Adam Nor Azlin, Raimi Md Nor, Fran­cis Doe and Rufino Se­govia, in Se­lan­gor’s 2-1 de­feat to Sarawak in the Malaysia Cup on Wed­nes­day.

All are ex­pected to re­turn to­day as Se­lan­gor at­tempt to de­lay Darul Ta’zim’s ti­tle cel­e­bra­tions, although that is con­tin­gent on Kedah beat­ing Pa­hang.

Sarawak will be buoyed by their win over Se­lan­gor as they pre­pare to face Penang in Kuch­ing in a bot­tom-of-the-ta­ble clash while fel­low rel­e­ga­tion ri­vals Melaka travel to Kuala Tereng­ganu to take on T-Team.

Ke­lan­tan, who have been dragged into the rel­e­ga­tion fight on the back of five con­sec­u­tive league de­feats, face an in-form Felda United in Kota Baru hop­ing to im­prove on their woe­ful home form. Devin­der Singh

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