BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Having seen his side overwhelmed by Kedah to a 4-0 defeat on aggregate in their FA Cup semi-final tie; Terengganu boss Irfan Bakti Abu Salim has no doubt that the Red Eagles will lift the cup in the final.
When interviewed by the match broadcaster following the second leg match in Kuala Terengganu, which ended 3-0, Irfan was magnanimous in his praise of Kedah.
"Judging by the way Kedah played tonight, I believe they will end up as the champions," he said.
When asked what went wrong with the Turtles in the match, the veteran trainer responded that it due to the Red Eagles' superior midfield.
"We were overwhelmed in midfield, we gave their number eight (Liridon Krasniqi), number 10 (Sandro da Silva Mendonça), and number seven (Baddrol Bakhtiar) too much space. And most of my men were simply ball-watching," explained Irfan.
He also added that Kedah were simply too good, that if his Argentine forward Federico Falcone, who was sidelined in the match due to an injury, had been fit and could be fielded, Terengganu would still not be able to overcome Kedah.
"Even if Falcone had been available this evening, he would not have been able to turn things around," lamented the coach.
Terengganu had gone into the match needing to turn overturn the 1-0 first leg scoreline in front of their own fans, and they kicked off the second leg with all guns blazing.
But their eagerness only led to them conceding Krasniqi's goal in the fifth minute, before a mistake by Abdul Shukur Jusoh at the half hour mark allowed Ken Ilso Larsen to score. Three minutes into the second half, Sandro compounded the home side's misery, adding the third goal of the evening.
Kedah will play their Super League title rivals Pahang in the final match next Saturday, after the Elephants defeated Negeri Sembilan 3-1 on aggregate in the other semi-final tie.