Thursday, March 3, 2016
LEAGUE champions SSTMI Thunderbolts are expected to have a walk in the park when they play Perlis Young Lions Juniors in both the legs of the TNB Cup quarter-finals starting Friday.
The five-time consecutive double champions SSTMI have a super record to rely on, as in six years, they have only lost one match -- 2-0 to UniKL Young Guns on 21 Feb.
Perlis Young Lions, on the other end, rose from Division Two and even lost to Anderson Thunderbolts 1-0 in the lower division final.
Both the legs will be played at SSTMI's grounds, giving them an added advantage which they do not need.
The other quarter-finals also favour Division One teams, as UniKL Young Guns, BJSS Thunderbolts and SSP-MSP Thunderbolts are expected to proceed to the semi-finals
However, if Anderson Thunderbolts pull off an upset it will be a Thunderbolts semi-finals.
Perlis and UniKL are the only non-Thunderbolts in the quarter-finals: "For us, we want to go al the way to the final and the first step would be to beat Anderson. Even though they rose from Division Two, I expect it to be a tough match -- but the outcome should favour us," said UniKL coach I. Vickneswaran.
However, Anderson team manager Saiyuti Samat begs to differ, as he is looking for a clean Thunderbolts sweep this season.
"My players have progressed well this season, and we are only obne step from creating history of having all four Thunderbolts in the semi-finals.
"And I believe my players will not disappoint, as UniKL can be beaten," said Saiyuti.
For UniKL to deny this upset, they must perform well in the first leg which will be held at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil. For, return leg will be held at Anderson's den -- the Azlan Shah Stadium.
FRIDAY: TNB Cup q-finals First Leg: SSTMI Thunderbolts v Perlis Young Lions Juniors (SSTMI, 5pm), SSP-MSP Thunderbolts v Sabah Sports School (5pm, Pitch II), UniKL Young Guns v Anderson Thunderbolts (5pm, Pitch I), BJSS Thunderbolts v BJSS Juniors (7pm, Pitch II).
SUNDAY: TNB Cup q-finals Second Leg: Perlis Young Lions Juniors v SSTMI Thunderbolts (SSTMI, 5pm), Sabah Sports School v SSP-MSP Thunderbolts (Pitch II, 7pm), Anderson Thunderbolts v UniKL Young Guns (Azlan Shah, 5pm), BJSS Juniors v BJSS Thunderbolts (Pitch I, 7pm).
Note: Matches at National Stadium Bukit Jalil unless stated.