Southeast Asia Malaysia

JDT and Selangor to Clash in Malaysia Cup Final

Johor Darul Ta’zim and Selangor FC have secured their spots in the 2022 Malaysia Cup final despite contrasting results in their semifinal second leg matches. JDT managed to see off the challenge of Sabah FC on Sunday night, while Selangor had their first leg result to thank after they were beaten by Terengganu FC on Monday night.

Commanding a 1-0 lead from the first leg, JDT welcome Sabah to the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium for Sunday’s second leg.

Despite trailing by only one goal, conquering JDT at their own Sultan Ibrahim Stadium has always been a mission impossible and Sabah’s faint hopes for a comeback were lost after Bergson made it 1-0 after 35 minutes.

Fernando Forestieri then doubled JDT’s lead in the 41st minute and although Taiki Kagayama pulled one back for Sabah in the 47th minute, the Rhinos were well and truly out of the competition after Syafiq Ahmad made it 3-1 JDT in the third minute of injury time, ensuring that the Southern Tigers’ hopes for a treble remain alive with the 4-1 aggregate win.

At the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Kuala Terengganu on Monday, Selangor pay Terengganu a visit with a 3-1 lead to their name from the first leg, however, the Red Giants knew that taking on the Turtles at their very own backyard would be an arduous task.

With head coach Nafuzi Zain set to leave Terengganu after the Malaysia Cup, the hosts were determined to send him off with a bang as they threatened Selangor’s goal twice in the first half through captain Kipre Tchetche and Filipino international Manny Ott.

Selangor were not without their chances too as Caion saw his shot going wide in the 13th minute, before Tchetche made the Red Giants pay for their missed chances with Terengganu’s opener in the 36th minute – the former Kedah Darul Aman man latching onto a Faisal Halim pass before slotting home past Selangor goalie Khairulazhan Khalid.

Their advantage now reduced, Selangor immediately shut up shop in an effort to prevent themselves from conceding more goals, with Khairulazhan pulling off a save to deny Halim one minute after Tchetche’s goal.

Despite their best efforts, Selangor once again conceded a goal in the 56th minute after Tchetche had once again beaten Khairulazhan, however the Ivorian’s effort was chalked off for offside much to the relief of the Selangor camp.

The Red Giants went into full defensive mode once again and soaked up pressure after pressure thrown at them by Terengganu. Even with seven minutes worth of injury time, the Turtles were unable to find a way past Khairulazhan once again. With that decisive second goal proved to be impossible to get, Terengganu had to contend with a 1-0 win at the end of the match, bowing out of this year’s Malaysia Cup with a 2-3 defeat on aggregate.

And it finally comes down to this – the 2022 Malaysia Cup final, to be played on November 26th at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. It was the perfect final – JDT were Malaysian football’s all-conquering side in recent years but they have yet to win a domestic treble. Having won this year’s Liga Super Malaysia and Malaysia FA Cup, the chance has come for the Southern Tigers to truly establish their hegemony over Malaysian football by winning all three titles on offer in a single year.

Standing in JDT’s way were Selangor, who have won a record 33 Malaysia Cup titles and are gunning for their 34th, a record-extending title that would surely further establish their dominance in the competition. The fact that the winners of the 2022 Malaysia Cup will qualify for the 2023 AFC Cup group stages adds more incentive for Selangor, who finished 5th in the 2022 Liga Super. The Red Giants have not tasted continental football since 2016 and they would be eager to make their return by winning this year’s Malaysia Cup.