THE FA Cup quarterfinals next month will bear witness to intriguing contests after four Super League sides were kept apart.
The general feeling after the draw was conducted at the International Broadcasting Centre at RTM and shown live over TV1 was that it was a lopsided draw, pitting Super League outfits Kedah, Selangor, Terengganu and Pahang against Premier League sides Malacca, Kuala Muda Naza, Felda United and Sabah respectively.
However top flight status does not necessarily guarantee success in knock-out tournaments such as the FA Cup.
Selangor coach Dollah Salleh for instance preached caution against KM Naza which he described as a little known entity.
“I’ve never played KM Naza before, so it is going to be an interesting affair. My philosophy is simple – we have to treat every game like a final. That’s part of the romance of a knock-out competition like the FA Cup,” said Dollah.
His opposite number K. Devan conceded that on paper Selangor are the favourites to go through to the last four.
“As the traditional powerhouse, Selangor will start as the favourites. I’m happy to be the underdogs,” said Devan.
The first leg will take place on April 8. The second leg will take place two weeks later.
Felda United coach Reduan Abdullah relishes the task of taking on Yunus Alif’s Terengganu.
“The magic of the FA Cup is that anything can happen. Having qualified as far as the quarterfinals is already an achievement by itself for Felda,” said the former Selangor midfield dynamo.
Defending champs and Super League leaders Kedah are not likely to face much problems in dealing with Malaccca.
What worries coach Azraai Khor Abdullah is the congested fixtures as Kedah are also involved in the AFC Cup.
On April 3, Kedah, drawn in Group D of the AFC Cup, will travel to play South China in Hong Kong before hosting the corresponding fixture 13 days later at Alor Star.