Liberian forward Edward Junior Wilson sent Felda through to the FA Cup final with a majestic goal and performance
BY MARK DAWSON
|MAN OF THE MATCH
Felda 2-2 Kelantan
The second leg of the FA Cup semi-final was always likely to be decided by a Liberian striker with both teams possessing their own dangerous forward. While at one stage it looked like Kelantan's Liberian Francis Forkey Doe had scored the goal to take his team into the final, his countryman Edward Junior Wilson tore up and rewrote the script.
It was his breathtaking volley in added time at the end of the first half which punched his teams ticket to the final, leveling the score at 2-2 on the night, 5-5 on aggregate, with Felda advancing on away goals. Surely no better goal has been scored in Malaysia this season and it was the least Edward deserved for another brutish performance.
Perhaps no other player on the pitch would have been capable of cooly side-foot volleying in Shukor Adan's cross from such an acute angle. While some skeptics may say that it was a cross intended for an on-rushing teammate, I believe that it was an intentional, and outrageous piece of finishing.
Throughout the two legs Edward has bullied the Kelantan backline with a mix of power, skill and strength. Nik Shahrul and Iraqi defender Alaa Hussein are two players in particular who were unable to live with his strength, with the latter rightly cautioned after resorting to pulling Edward down in an effort to stop him.
Although he tired late on, his work rate throughout was exemplary, even creating a golden chance in the 93rd minute, in a textbook example of how to lead the line for a team. The matchup in the FA Cup final will see him do battle with fellow import Damion Stewart in what should be a titanic encounter that will have a huge bearing on which team lifts the 2014 FA Cup.