Harimau Muda unfazed by Sparks challenge in Cup

One the competition's youngest teams will take on the 2012 semi-finalists in the opening rounds but are determined to progress
By Khalis Rifhan

Harimau Muda ‘B’ are looking to better their track record in the Singapore Cup as their two previous participations in the tournament ended miserably for them, failing at the first hurdle. 

In 2011, they were knocked-out by Hougang United by Mamadou Diallo’s extra-time goal and a year ago, Harimau were sent packing in the first round after they crashed to a 3-0 defeat to Gombak United.

But a rejuvenated squad with a whole array of new players, including coach Razip Ismail who was appointed as the team's new head coach and assisted by former Kuala Lumpur coach Mat Zan Mat Aris, are raring to make a difference this year. 

In the draw, which took place on Sunday, April 14, at the iconic The Float @ Marina Bay, the Malaysians were drawn against the invited club from the Philippines and last season's semi-finalist, Loyola Meralco Sparks.

Undaunted with the challenge ahead of them in the Cup, Razip remained confident that his young charges will be able to overcome their opponents in the preliminary round and hoped to better previous years' results. 

“To me it is not only going to be tough as I understand our opponents are last years’ semi-finalist and we will be trying our best in this tournament,” said Razip

“But in football anything can happen and we will be taking it one game at a time, hoping to go as far as we can in the competition this year.

“So far, there are no targets set but in such situations, we will do our best as we can see that all teams are capable and to me it depends on our performance, which I hope will be good.”

The Singapore Cup preliminary round will take place from May 26 to June 2 with the quarter-finals scheduled for July 22 to July 29.