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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 -- Terengganu FC (TFC) have fallen into a difficult path in their mission to qualify for the 2021 Malaysia Cup mission after being held to a 1-1 draw by 2019 champions, Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) in the first leg semi-final tonight.
In the action at Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium, Kuala Terengganu, the hosts succeeded in taking the lead but failed to hold on to position and thereby giving the advantage of away goal to JDT in the second leg this Friday.
The result also kept the clean record of both TFC and JDT in their Malaysia Cup campaign intact as the two teams have not been beaten.
The squad under coach Mohd Nafuzi Zain which is still fresh from their success in the quarter-finals started the game brilliantly when they took only eight minutes to open the score via Jordan Mintah who was unguarded by three JDT defenders in the penalty box.
Stunned by the opening goal, the Southern Tigers under Benjamin Mora bounced back to hunt for the equaliser through striker Bergson da Silva, but the solo effort of the Brazilian’s finishing with a left-footer struck the goal post in the 11th minute.
Bergson however had a golden chance to equalise in the 41st minute but his weak attempt was easily saved by goalkeeper Mohd Suhaimi Husin before Mintah who shot with his right foot to create some anxious moments for JDT but the ball missed the goal two minutes later.
JDT’s equaliser finally came in the second half with Bergson receiving a pass from Arif Aiman Mohd Hanapi, weaved his way passed two TFC defenders to put in a thunderous volley with his right foot for a 1-1 score in the 50th minute.
TFC captain Carlos Alberto De Murga was carried out of the pitch in the game after a clash with Bergson while trying to clear the ball from the danger zone in the 77th minute and he was later substituted by Muhammad Aqil Irfanuddin Mohd Sabri.
Mora brought in four players namely Safiq Rahim, Muhammad Safawi Rasid, Mohamadou Sumareh and Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad in the hunt for the winning goal but their presence gave no impact until the final whistle.
Meanwhile, the same score was also recorded in the match between Kuala Lumpur (KL) City FC and Melaka United FC in another first leg semi-final at Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras which was held without spectators following an incident when a City Boys fan invading the field in the second leg quarter-final last Thursday.
KL City FC under chief coach Bojan Hodak were first to go ahead through a free kick by Adriano Narcizo in the eighth minute but the header by midfielder Zhafri Yahya in the 26th minute brought relief to Zainal Abidin Hassan’s squad.
The two sides continued to battle hard for the winning goal which did not materialise until the final whistle and the slot to the final would be determined in the second leg in Melaka on Friday.
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