No one can blame the Crocs for trying hard to go against the odds but luck was indeed on visiting Felda United whom held the Crocs, and advanced to the semi-finals of the FA Cup on away goal merits.
The Crocs started the game eager to seal their spot in the semi-finals for the first time in years, but Felda came close to scoring with a one-on-one between Edward Junior Wilson and Sani Anuar ending with nothing for the visiting team.
Sarawak replied through Gabor Gyepes, but his shot was inches from the target. This was followed by a corner which Ashri Chuchu fiercely blasted onto the blocking Felda’s defenders, but a follow up by Mafry Balang went high and wide for the score to remain unchanged.
Felda found out that doing fast counter attacks tend to catch Sarawak defenders off-guard, but Sarawak custodian Sani proved more difficult to defeat.
In the 17th minute, Stadium Negeri finally roared with approval as a long pass by Sani to Ronny Harun was calmly dribbled by the defender through the middle of the park. The Sabah born defender then unleashed a deadly pass to Joseph Kalang who dribbled pass his marker before he calmly rounding Felda’s goalkeeper and putting in Sarawak’s first goal.
The joy of lead however was short lived as Felda pegged the Crocs back through a mix-up in front of Sarawak’s goal which allowed unmarked Zah Rahan Krangar to calmly lob in the equalizer.
The score stayed level until half time.
After watching Sarawak’s favorite Crocs mascot entertain the crowd at half time, the Crocs picked-up where they left off by pushing harder for the winning goal.
Nonetheless, the Crocs found themselves loosing their grip in midfield and Felda continued to press the Crocs with their fast and dangerous counter attacks, seconds after breaking many of Sarawak’s pointless attacks.
Ashri came close to put the Crocs ahead again in the 53rd minute but his thundering shot was saved for a fruitless corner.
The debut of S Chanturu and the inclusion of Kedah born Akmal Rizal definitely spiced up Sarawak’s attacking flair, and it didn’t take long before the duo punished Felda’s lack of defending with Akmal calmly finishing a nice pass from Chanturu to put Sarawak at the driver’s seat again.
With less than 15 minutes to play, the the hopes of every Sarawakian fan came crushing as Indra Putra swung in a beautiful free kick, stunning not only Sani, but the capacity crowd at Stadium Negeri.
Sarawak from then on gave everything to find the winning goal, but not even Sani’s presence in the Felda penalty box managed to change the scoreline of the game, and hence confirming that Sarawak ends their FA Cup campaign tonight.
FINAL SCORE: SARAWAK FA 2-2 FELDA UNITED (Felda advance due to away goal advantage)
OUR MoM: ASHRI CHUCHU