Selangor FA captain Amri Yahyah was full of praise for his young comrades after the Red Giants checked into the FA Cup final for the first time in nine years following a 5-1 aggregate victory over PKNS FC on Saturday.
Nazliazmi Nasir’s men came to Shah Alam Stadium with a 4-0 advantage from last week, and Rufino Segovia was back to taunt the hosts with a 71st minute goal to make it 5-0.
Alif Haikal’s late goal was a mere consolation for the Red Ants, who were undone by Segovia’s hat-trick in the first leg.
“Our mission from the season start was to get to the FA Cup final, because it was the quickest trophy we could get our hands on. Our young players made a difference tonight, they were full of energy,” said Amri after the win.
“It is easy to play with senior players, but young players need motivation. If you are harsh with them often, it demoralizes them. I hope they will rise again in the final.”
While Selangor’s young guns put in a collective performance, it was Segovia who found the net again for his ninth goal in the competition.
The Spaniard, signed last season on a six-month trial, already has 23 goals for the season.
Much of Selangor’s improvement boils down to the man management of Nazliazmi, who got Segovia and Amri gelling well after taking over from P.Maniam earlier in the season.
“I know these players strengths and weakness. Besides the Rufino-Amri connection, Syahmi Safari and Alfonso de la cruz have also done well,” said Nazliazmi.
“I am a newcomer and still have a lot to learn. Tonight’s victory was a team effort, and hopefully it marks the beginning of my career and Selangor football club.”
The five-time FA Cup champions now await the winner of PKNP FC-Pahang FA for the July 7 final at Bukit Jalil Stadium.
PKNP-Pahang face each other on Sunday with the scores evenly poised at 1-1.
Photo credit: PKNS FC Facebook