By K. RAJAN
PETALING JAYA: Sime Darby FC coach Ismail Zakaria said their past success counts for nothing when they start their FA Cup campaign against T-Team at the Sultan Ismail Stadium today.
Last year, Sime Darby became the first club side to qualify for the final in the 23-year history of the FA Cup. A Mohd Ghaddar Mahmoud spot kick ended their fairytale run and handed Kelantan a 1-0 win.
The club side are enjoying a good run in the Premier League, leading the standings on better goal difference from second-placed Sarawak. Both teams have 20 points from eight matches.
T-Team, meanwhile, are third from bottom in the 12-team Super League with eight points from eight matches as well.
But Ismail prefers to see every match in the FA Cup as a final and every opponent as a huge threat.
“T-Team may be languishing at the bottom of the standings but they are still a Super League side,” he said.
“We’ll take it one game at a time … I don’t want to put any pressure on my players. Our main target this season is to secure promotion to the Super League.
“But, based on our current form, I believe we have a good chance of progressing to the quarter-finals.”
The Premier League side will be without Croatian midfielder Goran Perak, who has yet to regain his fitness after recovering from a back injury.
However, Perak’s compatriot – striker Karlo Primorac – has been averaging a goal per match for Sime Darby in the Premier League and is expected to be a thorn in T-Team’s side.
“We may have been a little bit unlucky in last year’s final but this time we have a better squad … and a genuine chance of winning the Cup,” said Ismail.
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