Malaysia FA Cup Preview: Kelantan vs Sime Darby

When you see Tan Sri Annuar Musa dropping by to provide motivation for the players, you know the severity if Kelantan’s next match. The second leg of their clash against Sime Darby isn’t only about securing their spot in the semi finals of the FA Cup. It’s also about brokering their way through bad morale.

Kelantan will be looking to formulate a turning point this season, and it could start from tonight. New signings Austin Amutu and Gilmar showcased glimpses of their brilliance last weekend, and could be the much needed impetus for them, should they sparkle at home.

The fans are slowly losing their patience and it’s not only with the head coach, but the management as President Tan Sri Annuar Musa as well. Excuses are running thin these days, and one can only wonder as to what the uproar would be like, should they lose this one and get dumped out of the FA Cup.

And it’s not like Sime Darby are mere pushovers either. That must have been a general rhetoric surrounding their emblem earlier in the season, before they effectively defeated PDRM 4-2 to progress into the quarters of the FA Cup. Fair enough, their last Super League was 4-1 and it came at the hands of PDRM as well, but their previous two defeats against Sarawak and Selangor all had one-goal margins.

Ismail Zakaria has got a squad that’s relatively volatile in nature and should they turn on the style on Tuesday night, anything could happen. And judging by Kelantan’s form, they will evidently enter this one, knowing that they could potentially execute a win and march closer to the FA Cup final.

Kelantan’s chances will primarily depend on the performance of their local players, particularly the likes of Piya, Wan Zaharulnizam and Wan Zack Haikal. Norfarhan has visibly been struggling for form this year, and is unlikely to feature from the beginning. Wan Zaharul and Wan Zack though, will be depended upon to provide ammunition from the flanks.

Should they get that done effectively, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Kelantan march into the next stage. On paper, they have the quality. Sime Darby on the other hand, would disagree. We’ve certainly got an entertaining affair on our hands.

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