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Perak v Pahang

Durakovic floored by Perak charges' resolve in stunning semi-final comeback

12:53 AM GMT+8 30/06/2019
Mehmet Durakovic, Perak
Aided by precise tactics, a determined Perak stunned Pahang with a 3-0 second leg win on Saturday, to reach the FA Cup final.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Needing to overturn their 3-1 first leg defeat to Pahang in the return leg on Saturday, Mehmet Durakovic's Perak stunningly scored three goals in the first half, before keeping a clean sheet in the second.

Brendan Gan's 34th-minute header opened the scoring at the Perak Stadium, before Partiban Janasekaran added their second in the 41st minute after he was released by Careca's through pass. Just a minute later, Nor Hakim Hassan's cross from the left forced Faisal Rosli to poke the ball into his own net. The hosts refused to sit back and defend their slim lead in the second half, but no more goals were scored by either side.

The 4-3 win on aggregate has now taken the Bos Gaurus into their second final under the Australian in two years, after winning the Malaysia Cup last year.

Speaking to the match broadcaster following the win, Durakovic agreed that he made the right tactical choices, but credited his players' desire to win the tie for the semi-final victory.

"These guys gave everything. For 90 minutes, everyone who came on fought and gave their 100 per cent. At the end of the day, Pahang are a very good side and you have to respect them... but today was Perak's day.

"What a team I have; a bunch of kids who'll never, never stop until the final minutes with their unbelievable performance. What a night for Perak.

"We changed the system a little bit with another striker (Careca for the suspended Ronaldo), we were very happy with the way things happened in training, and thank God tactically it worked for the 90 minutes," said the Malaysia Cup-winning coach and former player.

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