Tuesday, March 9, 1999

Malay Mail out to bury playoff setback (NST)

THE FA Cup may not be as glamorous as the Malaysia Cup and Premier League
but for Kuala Lumpur Malay Mail, the tournament offers them a chance to
erase a bitter disappointment.
Denied a place in Premier Two this season by a single goal, Malay Mail
will want to prove they would have been worthy contenders had they
qualified for Premier Two.
They host Malacca in tonight's first round first leg match, which
unofficially kicks off the new soccer season.
Beating Malacca would mean a second round match against `big brothers'
Kuala Lumpur and coach Lucas Kallang, formerly part of Alan Vest's Sarawak
team, is hoping his players will rise above the disappointment of the
"We were very disappointed with our failure but we have no one but
ourselves to blame. But that is in the past. The important thing is for us
to focus on the FA Cup," said Lucas yesterday.
While Malacca are not exactly a Goliath in Malaysian soccer, their
status as a State side makes them favourites against Malay Mail.
"We have to aim for a win as it will, to a certain extent, redeem our
failure in the qualifiers," said Lucas.
The qualifiers involved Police, Armed Forces, Kelantan TNB and Malay
The newspaper team had one foot in Premier Two and only needed a draw
going into their final match against Forces.
Unfortunately, Forces were equally determined to qualify and won 2-0 as
Malay Mail were left to rue what it could have been.
"Advancing to the second round will prove that we would have been able
to stand against the best in Premier Two," said Lucas.
Another interesting tie tonight will be the Perlis-Forces clash in
Perlis, although a Premier Two side, are only playing in the first round
after the FA of Malaysia's council decided that defending champions Johor
should be seeded for the tournament.
Perlis were ranked above Johor at the end of last season but sportingly
agreed to play in the first round.
Johor FC, who stunned eventual Premier Two champions and Malaysia Cup
finalists Terengganu last season, will be looking to a second round spot
when they play Malacca Telekom at the Pasir Gudang Stadium.
Police, demoted to the FAM League, will be aiming to upset Kelantan
while NS Chempaka take on Kelantan TNB in an all-club affair at the Paroi

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