The last four of the Malaysia Cup could not be any tougher as Johor Darul Ta'zim, Pahang, Selangor and Kedah are the ones left to fight to replace Perak as the new champions. Coincidentally, these four teams are also the ones who occupied the top four spots in the Malaysia Super League this season, managing to maintain their consistency in the cup.
Pahang had a commanding 3-0 away lead from the first leg when they went into the return fixture against Melaka at Darul Makmur Stadium on Sunday but it was still business as usual for The Elephants who went on to win 3-1 to secure a 6-1 aggregate win over their hapless opponents.
Lazarus Kaimbi struck the opening goal just four minutes before half time before a brace from Dickson Nwakaeme (65', 76') heaped the misery on Melaka. Pahang's head coach Dollah Salleh was understandably pleased with his charges who kept the pressure on despite already having one foot in the semi-final beforehand.
"I'm satisfied with the players. Even though we already were leading 3-0, we did not take things lightly. Melaka played better than they did in the first leg but thankfully we managed to get into our rhythm. We were without Safuwan (Baharudin), (Norshahrul Idlan Talaha) Mat Yo and Muslim (Ahmad) with the replacement all doing well to ensure we could play our game.
"Kedah are a strong team. We see them as one of the teams who are always in the top 4 and they go into finals. For sure the match will be very exciting, both teams are in good form. We want to get a trophy and we will do our best in the remaining matches," said Dollah in the post-match press conference.
In the semi-final, Pahang will be taking on Kedah with the latter being the host for the first leg that will be scheduled to be play between 18-20 October with the second leg in Kuantan being tentatively set for either 25th of 26th October.
Dollah's side have held the upper hand over Aidil Shahrin's team in the two matches that they have played each other in the Super League this season with Pahang winning 1-0 at home while managing to secure a 0-0 draw at Darul Aman Stadium back in the middle of June.
With Nor Azam Azih, Matthew Davies, Mohamadou Sumareh and Norshahrul all joining with the Malaysia national team for the upcoming international break, Dollah will be watching with bated breath and hope his stars will return without any injuries as Pahang look to reclaim the Malaysia Cup they last won in 2014.
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