Darul Ta’zim set to be crowned as kings today
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