Johor Darul Ta’zim and Selangor FC managed to secure first leg advantages in their 2022 Malaysia Cup semifinal ties. 10-men Southern Tigers managed to survive a stubborn Sabah FC to eke out a 1-0 win away at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday, while on Wednesday Selangor cruised their way to a 3-1 win over Terengganu FC at the Petaling Jaya Stadium despite initially going behind.
A 33rd minute long-ranged goal from Arif Aiman was enough for JDT to see off the challenge of hosts Sabah, who failed to overcome the Southern Tigers for the third time in three meetings so far this season.
JDT had to finish the match with 10 men after a controversial red card for Feroz Baharuddin in the 75th minute, which was given following his foul on Saddil Ramdani despite replays suggesting that the Indonesia international had been cleanly tackled. Despite the advantage in numbers, Sabah were unable to turn the tie around in their favor, leaving the Rhinos with the impossible mission of beating JDT at their Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in the second leg on November 20th.
Despite commanding a healthy advantage coming into their own second leg on November 21st, Selangor were made to fight for their win after Terengganu took the lead in 19th minute through a Kipre Tchetche free-kick. Richmond Ankrah then drew things level in the 37th minute after he had headed home a Mukhairi Ajmal corner, before another Ajmal corner in the 43rd minute led to Caion giving Selangor the lead.
Ajmal was once again the creator for Selangor’s clincher in the 54th minute, as his corner found its way into Terengganu’s goal for the third time in the match, this time being headed home by Sharul Nazeem.
Selangor head coach Tan Cheng Hoe cautioned his Red Giants players after the match, stating that despite losing 3-1, Terengganu would still give all that they could in November 21st’s second leg. The Turtles would be playing at their own Sultan Zainal Mizan Abidin Stadium and the fact that head coach Nafuzi Zain would leave the club at the end of the Malaysia Cup means that Terengganu will be determined to send off their head coach on a high, controversy regarding his contract extension aside.