BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Defending FA Cup champions Pahang and 2017 winners Kedah have reached the penultimate stage of this year's competition, when they both recorded favourable results at home in their second leg quarter-final encounters on Friday.
The return of Nigerian striker Dickson Nwakaeme from injury inspired Pahang to overturn a 2-1 first leg defeat, with a commanding 4-0 victory over East Coast rivals Terengganu FC, thanks to a brace by Nwakaeme.
Needing to hit the ground running in front of their own fans, the Elephants opened the scoring as early as the seventh minute through Faisal Halim's goal, after the youngster pounced first on a rebound. They then doubled their effort against the visitors, who frankly were second best from start to finish, but only rattled the frame and were denied by goalkeeper Suffian Abdul Rahman on numerous occassions. However, there was no stopping them in the second half.
When Nwakaeme was fouled by Suffian in the Terengganu box not long after the second half kick-off, he converted from the spot himself in the 48th minute, his first goal since April 14, before bagging his second of the night 15 minutes later. Malaysia international Mohamadou Sumareh then made it four in the 74th minute, his first goal of the season.
Kedah meanwhile were held to a 1-1 draw in Alor Star by PKNS FC, but won the tie 4-2 on aggregate. Jonatan Bauman opened the scoring in the 16th minute for the hosts, but the lead would be cancelled by Azmeer Yusof's 31st-minute own goal, after the defender inadvertently sliced the ball into his own net with an attempted block. Neither side were able to score again, and the Red Eagles were the victors.
The two remaining second leg matches; between Perak and PKNP FC as well as between Felda United and Kuala Lumpur, will be played on Saturday. Pahang will meet either Perak or PKNP, while Kedah will face either Felda or Kuala Lumpur in the semis.
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