It was simply a case of Dejavu for Sime Darby FC after the Crocs beat them yet again to claim another milestone in the the 2013 Malaysian football calender. Previously, the Crocs defeated Sime Darby to eventually be crowned Premier League Champions of 2013, and this time Sime Darby was the casualty in Sarawak’s advancement to the semis.
A sea of red was obvious as the 28,000 capacity Stadium Negeri was filled to the brim as early as 6PM. Fans were in high spirits as they sang and chanted while waiting for the game to begin.
The game kick off was also slightly delayed as the Sarawak supporters stole the lime light when they, in unison, decided to sing the state anthem Ibu Pertiwiku before kick off. Their action caught the announcers and first timer fans off guard as match officials, players, announcers and VIPs stood up while the fans sang the song with heart and pride until the last verse.
At 8:50PM, the game finally got on the way. The soggy pitch proved to be not an obstacle for both teams as they exchanged attacks in the early minutes of the game.
In the 4th minute, the stadium however fell silent when a defending error by Sarawak defenders resulted in Sime Darby easily scoring a loose ball through Azrul Ibrahim whom sneaked in a shot which was out of Sarawak number one goalkeeper’s reach.
The setback however lasted merely 23 minutes when Muamer Salibasic blasted in a screamer in the 27th minute to put the score level, but still at SDFC’s favour whom had the away goal advantage.
Junior Eldstal and Guy Bwele started winning the midfield battle from then on, giving more quality passes to the Sarawak strikers and flankers.
A lovely pass from Junior to Bobby Gonzales soon followed, but the Sabahan born striker shot it straight to the Mohd Suffian who was ever ready.
This was followed by a lovely delivery by Muamer to Ronny Harun, but the shot by Ronny was just high and wide for the score to remain the same.
The second half saw the Crocs blazing all guns at Sime Darby with the visiting team looking to defend the score which will enable them to move to the semi-finals of the tournament.
Their efforts paid off when a free kick by Muamer was deflected into the net to to put the Crocs a foot into the next round at the 55th minute.
The goal sparked a euphoria around the stadium as chants of Sarawak became louder.
Junior was yet again involved in near goal action when he engineered a lovely pass to Sharol Saperi whom floated it up to rushing Joseph Kallang who barely missed the key touch for goal.
Finally, the continuous pressure exerted by the Crocs over SDFC’s goal was well rewarded when Bobby move the ball forward to Muamer who blasted in the ball from an acute angle to deny SDFC any resurgence in the game.
The final whistle soon blew with the Crocs invincible in Kuching, and confirming their place in the semi-finals of the Malaysia Cup after 13 years of falling out.
FINAL SCORE: SARAWAK FA 3 SIME DARBY FC 1