Irfan Bakti's men will face Pahang in the FA Cup final after defeating Kelantan on away goals
BY KEESHAANAN SUNDARESAN Follow on Twitter
Felda United will be taking on Pahang in what should be a crunching FA Cup final, after the Settlers dispatched Kelantan on away goals earlier today.
The match's initial tempo provided reflected where they left off in the highly charged first leg. Shawky and Fakri did not start, due to suspension, while Prince Tagoe was included in the substitute bench. Nonetheless, Forkey Doe was there to lead the line up, and he was a threat from the offset.
Piya smartly outclassed Raimi, before threading an assist for Forkey Doe, but the Liberian forward fired wide off target inside the first 10 minutes.
Felda United themselves were not isolated; in fact they were equally proactive in pushing on the offense. Indra Putra had a shot off target, before Edward Junior's speculative attempt was saved by Apek.
However, Felda did take the lead on the 20th minute mark, with former Kelantan man Indra Putra finding the back of the net to put the Settlers ahead.
The goal however, did knock some urgency into Kelantan's attack as they pushed hard for the equalizer. And just eight minutes later, George Boateng's men got their reward as Khairul Izuan restored parity.
But they knew that a draw would not be enough, considering that Felda fired three past them at Kota Bharu. The away goal advantage favoured Felda and Kelantan knew that they couldn't afford to rest on their laurels.
So they relentlessly pushed forward in search of the goal that would put them ahead. On the 34th minute mark, it finally arrived. Forkey Doe, who has been solid for them all season long, slotted home impeccably to put Kelantan ahead on the day.
Boateng's men then made the mistake of being a little too complacent. The initial intensity died off as Felda started to seize initiative. Just as you thought that Kelantan would escape and head into half time with a slender lead, Felda striked bulls eye by firing the fourth goal of the match through Edward Junior; three minutes into extra time.
So as the second half started, it was back to the drawing board, as far as Kelantan were concerned. They needed to score and there was no two ways about it. Felda on the other hand, were more than happy to sit back and exploit Kelantan's desperate nature, on the counter attack.
Piya in particular, worked his socks off in midfield, to provide the accurate ammunition for Forkey Doe, but the Felda defence was resolute. A flurry of attacks took place throughout the second half, but none of them managed to penetrate the Settlers.
Though four goals were scored in the first half, the second half unfortunately saw no goals, as Felda United held on till the final whistle to book their spot in the FA Cup final. It ended 2-2 on the night and 5-5 on aggregate; but the Settlers are through to the final on a higher number of away goals.