Malaysia Cup semi-finals round-up: JDT vanquish Selangor, Kedah edge Pahang in another thriller

Safuwan Baharudin, Pahang v Kedah, Malaysia Cup, 26 Oct 2019
Sports Regime
JDT and Kedah will face off in the Malaysia Cup final, having edged Selangor and Pahang respectively in the semi-finals.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) and Kedah will meet in the 2019 Malaysia Cup final, after edging their respective opponents; Selangor and Pahang in the second leg of the semi-finals on Saturday.

Selangor's first leg resistance in the previous week against JDT, which helped them nick an away goal from their 2-1 defeat at Larkin, was undone in front of their own fans at the Shah Alam Stadium. Their failure to play well at home resulted in a 3-0 second leg defeat (5-1 on aggregate), with all three goals scored by the previously-underperforming Safawi Rasid (25', 46', 51'), from almost similar situations. Each time the Malaysia international would shirk left back Prabakaran Kandasamy before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Khairulazhan Khalid.

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Selangor vs JDT math highlights

But the match of the night, if not the season, was surely the one that took place in Kuantan between Pahang and Kedah, which ended in a frenetic 5-5 draw, 8-8 on aggregate, with the Red Eagles the victors thanks to the away goal rule. Continuing from where they left off in the equally-pulsating first leg match, Fernando Rodriguez netted the opening goal in the eighth minute, and it took the hosts until the 33rd minute to equalise, through Dickson Nwakaeme's curling shot. Jonatan Bauman put the visitors in front again 10 minutes into the second half, but Lazarus Kaimbi turned the scoreline around with two quick goals, in the 71st and 75th minutes. Just five minutes from time, Baddrol Bakhtiar levelled the scoreline and forced extra time with a looping freekick, the referee signalling that a goal has been scored although there were doubts whether the ball has crossed the line.

Just like in the first half, Kedah struck first in the 93rd minute, this time through Renan Alves. A penalty by Herold Goulon in the 112th minute made it 4-4, but Kedah went in front again five minutes later, Rodriguez with his second. Deep in extra time injury time Nwakaeme scored his second to make it 5-5 and went off careening in a wild celebration thinking he had done enough to level the tie, but unfortunately he was not aware that the away goal rule is still applicable to goals scored in the extra time of Malaysian cup matches. The match ended soon after, Kedah winning the tie on the away goal rule. 

Pahang vs Kedah match highlights

The final match will be played on Saturday, November 2, at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. The last time the two sides met at the same stage was just two years ago, the match ending in a 2-0 win to JDT.

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