KUALA Lumpur fielded their reserves, but still beat Pahang 4-0 to top Group A in the National Under-16 tournament in Sandakan yesterday.
KL, who finished unbeaten after six matches, will square off against Negri Sembilan in the semi-finals today and coach Lokman Yahaya said he is confident the outcome will favour them.
And if KL keep their word, they are likely to square off against Perak in a repeat of last year's final. Perak demolished Penang 7-3 in their final group match and will meet Selangor in the other semi-final.
"Negri Sembilan seem to have overly relied on their skipper (Asraf Zulzali) to control the midfield and win matches in Group B.
"I have drawn up a plan to stop him (Asraf) from making those piercing passes, and I believe if my players follow instructions, half the battle against Negri would be won and we will get a chance to defend our title on Sunday," said Lokman.
Lokman said he fielded his reserves against Pahang to give them exposure: "We had already sealed top spot in Group A with the Pahang match in hand, so I decided to rest many regulars and field my reserves because we will be playing in the semis without a break," said Lokman.
Perak, who have not dropped a single point in five matches, have been the most impressive side in the tournament as they have scored a total of 38 goals and let in only six.
RESULTS: Group A: Kuala Lumpur 4 Pahang 0, Perlis 0 Singapore 2, Johor 1 Kelantan 1.
Group B: Penang 3 Perak 7, Sabah 0 Malacca 4.
TODAY -- Semi-finals: Kuala Lumpur v Negri Sembilan (2.30pm); Perak v Selangor (4.30pm).