MALACCA could only edge Negri Sembialan 3-2, but it was enough to qualify for the Division One final of the 47th Razak Cup at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
And Project 2013 followed suit, when they drew 3-3 with Penang in a bruising match.
Penang took a 3-1 lead, and the juniors, who only needed a draw to play in the final, rallied strongly in the second half and scored off two penalty corners to realise their dream with one match in hand against Malacca today.
"My boys deserve credit, and even though they were down by two goals, they never lost their structure," said Project coach K. Dharmaraj.
The Project scorers were Firhan Ashari (33rd), Nor Faeez Ibrahim (54th, 56th). The Penang goals were off Mohamed Azri (7th), Izwan Firdaus (38th, 48th).
Yesterday, Malacca took a 2-0 lead off Nor Ikram Sulaiman (fourth) and B. Namasivayam (sixth), but Negri drew level when Suhaimi Ibrahim (10th) and Meor Shaaril (13th) scored.
However, Mihardy Nawawi nailed the winner in the 29th minute to take Malacca into the final.
"We played badly against Negri Sembilan, but the thre points took us to the final. Now, we will rest some players, including Chua Boon Huat (who has one yellow card to his name) in our last match against Project tomorrow (today)," said Malacca coach K. Balakrishnan.
Malacca would be foolish to go all out against the Project squad, as they will be playing the final the next day itself.
In Division Two, Armed Forces and Singapore will play in the final tomorrow.
In the semi-finals yesterday, Armed Forces hammered Kedah 7-1, while Singapore were leading Selangor 2-1 when rain disrupted second half play, and the score stood.
RESULTS: Division One -- Negri Sembilan 2 Malacca 3, Kuala Lumpur 1 Perak 3, Penang 3 Project 2013 3.
Division Two: Semi-finals: Armed Forces 7 Kedah 1, Selangor 1 Singapore 2.
Fifth-Eighth: Brunei 1 Perlis 3, Pahang 5 Police 4.
TODAY: Division One -- Malacca v Project 2013 (3pm), Johor v Penang (5pm), Kuala Lumpur v Negri Sembilan (7pm) -- Matches at the Tun Razak Stadium.
Division Two: Fifth-Sixth: Perlis v Pahang (5.30pm); Seventh-Eighth: Brunei v Police (3.30pm) -- Matches at the KLHA Stadium.
P W D L F A Pts
PROJECT 2013 5 3 2 0 19 10 11
MALACCA 5 3 2 0 10 7 11
PERAK 6 2 2 2 16 11 8
JOHOR 5 2 1 2 12 8 7
K LUMPUR 5 2 0 3 16 15 6
PENANG 5 1 1 3 12 17 4
NEGRI 5 1 0 4 8 25 3