KUALA Lumpur upset the form-book when they beat Perak 3-2 in the semi-finals of the Boys National Under-14 tournament at the KLHA Stadium yesterday.
They will meet Terengganu, who edged Kelantan 3-2, in the final today.
KL’s charge into the final was a sweet surprise, as they depended on home talent, while the other finalist has a handful of players from the Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar Sports Schools.
The KL goals were scored by Fallah Hassan (28th) and Ameer Mohamed (42nd, 66th). And the Perak scorers were Najme Ahmad (first) and Mohamed Noor Adha (56th).
In the other semifinals, Terengganu skipper Luqman Nul Hakim, with 13 goals to his credit, gave his team the lead in the seventh minute, and Wan Mohamed Azlan made it 2-0 in the 18th minute.
However, a strike from Iskandar Fahmi in the 21st minute injected some hope in the Kelantan team, only to see Khairul Helmy making it 3-1 in favour of Terengganu.
The Kelantan players then made a concerted effort to take the match into extra time, but they could only score one goal off Mohamed Zulfazrin in the 51st minute.
Terengganu coach Shamsol Ismail attributed their campaign to team work.
“We only trained for one week because rain and flooding interrupted our sessions, but still I can see that the players have a good understanding and teamwork is the reason we are in the final,” said Shamsol.
With players from Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar Sports Schools as well as from SMK Padang Midin on their side, Terengganu are the favourites to lift the title today.
“We might be the favourites on paper, but I believe we are the underdogs as there was very little preparation put into this side. It all depends if our top goal-scorer and skipper (Luqman) and his mates recover from the gruelling semi-finals in time for the final tomorrow (today).”
RESULTS: Semi-finals -- Terengganu 3 Kelantan 2, Perak 2 Kuala Lumpur 3.
TODAY: Final -- Terengganu v Kuala Lumpur (7pm); Third-Fourth: Perak v Kelantan (5pm).