An example of how funny the fixtures and arrangement for the local league is this: yesterday Kedah played in the quarterfinals of the Malaysian Cup and won 6-1. Against, guess who? Melaka.
No disrespect to Melaka but how the hell does a team that only won two games this season, collecting only 9 points, managed to qualify to the quarter-finals of the biggest competition in the country? Macam mana tak kena belasah dengan Kedah?
However, we must say that there must be something good with youth football development in Kedah so something can be learned here from the Kedah FA. Datuk Basri must be smiling somewhere.
Tahniah Hijau Kuning! Now with the FA Cup and Super League title under their belt, they'd be looking for a unique treble as they are still very much the favourites to lift the Malaysia Cup as well.
By the way, for the record, we don't agree with the bit below about having Kedah's keeper as the national number one. Pleaselah. Not after what he did to Akmal. (oh yes, we remember mate!) Bring back Syamsuri anytime instead of the young punk. And who cares if he conceded less than Azizon. Azizon had a crap defence in front of him. If you are talking about goals conceded, perhaps we should also throw Sabah's Irwan Jamil into the equation. No, we can't just go by stats alone.
Azraai heeds destiny’s call
Fourteen years ago, Khor Sek Leng was just an up and coming tactician, assisting Robert Alberts to create history with a bunch of players from the second division. Now known as Azraai Khor Abdullah, Sek Leng may just go one step better than his mentor as Kedah eye a clean sweep of the domestic football titles.
In 1992, Alberts helped guide Kedah to the then Division 2 title and a place in the Malaysia Cup final —the first time a team from the lower division had contested Malaysia's oldest and most coveted crown.
A year later, Alberts worked his magic again as Kedah took home the Division 1 title and then went on to win the Malaysia Cup. In those days, Alberts could rely on Ahmad Sobri Ismail to keep a clean sheet, Lim Teong Kim to boss the midfield and Peter Nieketien and Olubunmi Adigun to knock in the goals.
Fast forward to the present day and Azraai can’t help but feel it is his destiny to win the Malaysia Cup for Kedah, but this time as their head coach. A year ago, he helped the unheralded team sweep all before them in the Premier League, which in essence is the Division 2 of Malaysian football.
This year, just like Alberts, Azraai has followed up that feat by winning the top division — the now renamed Super League.
Like his mentor, Azraai too, has a core of players he can depend on to guide his team. In goal he has the ever reliable Mohd Helmi Eliza, who many would say should have been the national No 1 for the just concluded Asian Cup instead of Negri’s Azizon Abd Kadir.
Going by stats alone, he should be as Helmi only conceded 21 goals while Azizon, or Bob to his pals, saw the ball whizz pass him 46 times.
In midfield it is Nelson Martin plotting the moves while Marlon James and Haswawi Hassan bang in the goals.
Kedah ’s feat in winning the league crown came after a titanic battle with Perak.
But a 1-0 victory over Brunei DPMM on Saturday, courtesy of a K. Soley goal meant the Hijau Kuning outfit claimed the top prize with 55 points. Perak, who defeated Sarawak 4-2, finished second two points behind while DPMM were third on 44 points.
Malacca, who were defeated 3-1 by Selangor, were relegated to the Premier League.
It was an especially cruel night for Perak hotshot Khalid Jamlus. Snubbed by the national team, he fired a perfect retort with three well-taken goals at Sarawak Stadium but to no avail.
Keita Mandjou added the other goal for Perak, his 21st of the season to make him joint top scorer with Brunei DPMM’s Shahrazain Said.
Kedah, who also won the FA Cup when they defeated Perlis in June, play Malacca in the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals on Thursday as they aim for an unpredecented treble.
“It ’s a dream come true to win the league as 14 years ago, I was just the assistant when Kedah won the title for the last time, ” said an elated Azraai, after arriving in Alor Star yes- t e rda y.
“Now that we have won the league and FA Cup, we will do our best to make it a clean sweep by winning the Malaysia Cup, though that is easier said than done.”
Taken from The Malay Mail