| Fadhil Yunus |
INDERA SC will make an appearance in the final of the DST FA Cup since 2015 after edging Kasuka FC 1-0 in the last four at the Berakas Sports Complex recently.
Indera’s winger Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir’s solitary strike in the eighth minute was enough to send the two-time cup finalists through.
Aminuddin joined the Super League giants after ending his spell at DPMM FC and the club have also been bolstered by the return of Hazwan Hamzah.
Indera SC manager Rosdin Abdul Aziz expressed gratitude after sealing their place in the final.
“We are grateful after ISC succeeded in becoming the first team to progress to the final. Even though on paper the route looks quite easy, the truth is it is not,” said Rosdin in an interview with the media.
“As with the format of the DST FA Cup which is knockout, Indera treat all matches whom it has gone through as a cup final, so it is certainly not an easy route,” he added.
He said that IKLS, Jerudong and Kasuka whom they played in their last match, provided a stern test to their title hopes especially Kasuka who demonstrated a good performance this season with an experienced squad.
Rosdin will be hoping for third time the charm after falling to two final defeats at the hands of MS ABDB in 2012 and 2015.
“ISC have reached the final twice but have never won it. We were beaten by MS ABDB in both finals. So it would be wonderful if in this third attempt in 2018 that ISC could realise the dream.”
The manager said that the second semi-final will be a captivating tie with MS PDB showing attractive football this year adding that both MS ABDB who are defending champions and MS PDB to be Indera’s main challenge.
“Both teams possess their own strengths whereby MS ABDB will probably have a slight advantage because they are the defending champions and have already made sure the experience of playing in a semi-final and the final is no barrier.
“Nevertheless, MS ABDB will feel like they have lost their striking sensation Azizi Ali Rahman who is the top scorer in the DST Super League for consecutive seasons. And this could affect the team slightly,” he said.
The prolific goal-scorer has joined DPMM FC and had played his last game in the final fixture of the DST Super League earlier this year.
However, Rosdin revealed that MS PDB should not be taken lightly which is apparently lined up by new players and long-standing players who are experienced such as Rosmini Kahar and Jasriman Johari, who will bring the team to the next level.
“We should not forget that MS PDB have beaten one of the selected teams for this tournament which is Kota Ranger who are also runners-up in the DST Super League 2017.
“The team who makes a clever and proper arrangement will reach the final,” the manager said.
Rosdin updated on players’ casualties with Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman still side-lined by injury and has not featured since the start of the cup competition adding that there are no other injury concerns.
Asked about the preparations and planning for the team ahead of the final, Rosdin said, “As what is being instructed by head coach Darus Tanjung, the preparations and planning is to increase stamina and fitness level of the players other than planning the best strategy guided by previous matches.”
The manager expressed hope that Indera SC will prepare a capable team to compete in the final and subsequently to create history to embrace success in the DST FA Cup.
“In this opportunity, as a manager of ISC, I would like to congratulate the management and players of ISC after working hard and trying hard until they succeeded in bringing the team to the final. Do continue the fight until the end,” the manager said.