Permata-MBSA and Semenyih Putra United are set for a clash of epic proportions to crown the new Liga 1MCC champions.
It was a day when the underdogs ruled in the Liga 1MCC-Hong Leong Yamaha Klang Valley Zone Under-16 tournaments with two former champions shown the exit at the Rubber Research Institute grounds in Sungai Buloh.
Watched by an estimated 600 fans, Permata-MBSA were all fired-up as they knocked out defending champions Seberang Prai Tengah (SPT) Indians FA 1-0 in the Division One quarterfinals, and followed up with a Shawal Fitri fourth-minute goal to edge 2011 champions PKNS FC in the semi-finals.
Permata-MBSA face Semenyih Putra United on November 16 at the Petaling Jaya Municipal Stadium (MPPJ Stadium) and at stake is a winner’s purse of MYR3,500 and the coveted trophy.
“It has been a struggle for us from the start of the league as all 15 teams in Division One were equally strong. There was not one team that was weaker than the other. What separated each team from the other was the stamina of players,” said Permata-MBSA coach Kamal Daut.
“As it is, teams with players who were physically fitter to absorb the challenges in every match were always on the winning end. We are, however, delighted to be in the final but I’m not putting any pressure on the players.”
Goals from Ilman Hakim Muhammad Jamaludin, who headed home a Jason Ambrose cross five minutes into the second half, and Badrul Amin’s (pic) penalty late in the game, sealed Semenyih Putra United’s semi-finals victory over Jasmine Juniors. They are now poised to improve on their third placing finish last season.
It was also Badrul’s 12thgoal in the league and the Kajang High School student, who represented the country at the 2012 Asean Schools Championships in Bangkok, is in line for the Golden Boot award.
An elated Semenyih Putra United coach, P. Chandramohan, commended his players for their gritty performance in the 1-0 quarterfinals win over CIMB-YFA Bintang Muda, and Jasmine Juniors in the semifinals.
“We have set the target of advancing to the final this year as all the players in the team have been together since they were 12 years-old. We feel the time is right as they have been playing extremely well,” added Chandramohan.
“As for Jasmine, it has always been tough for us to beat them. But our preparations were much better this year, more organised and this win is testament of our commitment.”
In Division Two, a resurgent Ombak FC ended a 10-man Harimau Mega FC’s stunning run by clinching victory 3-2 on penalties in the semifinals.
Ombak will now meet Glenmarie United in the final which has also been slated for November 16 at the MPPJ Stadium. Glenmarie edged ABP Brickfields 3-2, also on penalties, in the semifinals.
The Pasir Gudang-based Harimau Mega was also left to rue with 10 players after Mohd Fazlan Fikri Mohd Rahim was sent off in the second half.
Ombak FC, however, will be chasing a hat-trick of titles following the success of their Under-12 and Under-14 teams who claimed the Liga 1MCC Division Two championships titles early this year.
“Honestly, we had only set a target of reaching the semifinals. This is a pleasant surprise as we have always considered ourselves as the underdogs against Harimau Mega FC. They have always been the better team in this league,” said Gombak FC coach Mohd Zahrill.
“Luck was certainly on our side this time against Harimau Mega.”
Both teams played to a 1-1 draw in the preliminary round of the group matches.
Glenmarie United founder and head coach P.Rajendran was ecstatic in his team’s consistent run in the league but cautioned his players not to be over confident in the final against Ombak FC.
“We are extremely happy to be in the final and look forward towards our meeting with Ombak FC. We defeated them 3-0 in the preliminary round but we have to put that win behind. This is a different ball game,” added Rajendran, who had also guided the team to win the Malaysian Indians FA (MIFA) Datuk Pathmanathan Cup this year.
Quarterfinals: Permata-MBSA 1 SPT Indians FC 0; PKNS FC 1 Perkasa FC 1 (PKNS win 3-2 on penalties); Semenyih Putra United 1 CIMB-YFA Bintang Muda 0; Jasmine Juniors 0 KB Remaja Bersatu 0 (Jasmine win 8-7 on penalties).
Semifinals: Permata-MBSA 1 PKNS FC 0; Semenyih Putra United 2 Jasmine Juniors 0.
Quarterfinals: Harimau Mega FC 2 Eagles Premier FA 0; Glenmarie United 2 Proficient FC 0; ABP Brickfields 0 Putra Kapar FC 0 (ABP Brickfields win 4-2 on penalties); KB Nadi Dahlia 1 Ombak FC 1 (Ombak FC win 5-3 on penalties).
Semifinals: Glenmarie United 0 ABP Brickfields 0 (Glenmarie United win 3-2 on penalties); Ombak FC 0 Harimau Mega FC 0 (Ombak FC win 3-2 on penalties).