East and West Malaysian teams to battle for SUKMA supremacy in Kuantan today
President’s Cup winners Perak defeated Wilayah Persekutuan on Thursday to set up a final in the SUKMA football event against Sabah at the Darulmakmur Stadium tonight. Sabah saw-off Negeri Sembilan in the other semi-final.
Sabah became the first team to qualify for the final after coming from behind to beat former winners Negeri Sembilan 2-1 earlier in the day. The Borneo outfit went a goal down as early as the fourth minute when Adam Syahir Rosli put Negeri in front, but the hottest name in Malaysian football at the moment, Rozaimi Rahman, equalized deep into the first half’s injury time. Sabah then got their winner through another scoring sensation, Leopold Alfonso Otong in the 50th minute.
In the night match, Perak were given a scare by Wilayah Persekutuan before they went on to win 4-2. The “Seladangs”, claimed by many as the strongest team in this year’s edition raced into 2-0 lead within the first 16 minutes. Defender Amirul Azhan Aznan opened the scoring directly from a free-kick before M.Yoganathan headed in the second. WP fought back to draw level with a brace from captain Taufiq Shukor before the end of the first half. Perak then upped their game in the second period and sealed their place in the final with a Kenny Pallraj scorcher and G.Mugenthiran’s second SUKMA goal.
Sabah will make history if they win today as they have never won the SUKMA football gold medal while Perak’s last win came exactly ten years ago, ironically in the SUKMA hosted by their opponents today.
The final will kick-off at 8.45 p.m.