The Malaysia Cup

KUALA LUMPUR: Several coaches of Malaysia League (M-League) teams are of the view that the knockout format which will be used in the Malaysia Cup competition this season, gives an equal opportunity for all teams to become champions.

Kedah head coach Aidil Sharin Sahak, who led the Red Eagles to the final stage last season, admitted that the pressure is actually on the favourite teams but believed that his players would be able to perform their best in every match.

“For me, no matter who the opponents are, I just want my team to do their best and not to think about how great their opponents are,” he said in a statement issued by the Malaysian Football League (MFL) yesterday.

“In this knockout competition, I believe the teams who are not the favourite and those who are ranked lower than us in the league will be just as dangerous because the pressure is more on us,” explained the Singaporean coach.

Meanwhile, Pahang head coach Dollah Salleh said the Elephants are prepared to meet any team after some of its key players have recovered from injuries.

“The current break has been fully utilised when almost all the major Pahang players are at the best fitness level and this is such a relief,” explained the former national squad head coach.

The Malaysia Cup draw will take place on Nov 1, with the first round matches on Nov 6, 7 and 8, followed by the quarter-finals (Nov 12 and 13), the semi-finals (Nov 17), and the final action on Nov 22.

Teams drawn against Sabah in the first round, automatically qualify for the next round.

Sabah could not compete in the Malaysia Cup 2020 competition after failing to get National Security Council (MKN) permission to leave the state following an extension of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) in Sabah to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of 15 teams involving 10 Super League teams and five Premier League teams will compete in the Malaysia Cup this time. – Bernama