PETALING JAYA: We can’t let our guard down!
This is Kuala Lumpur captain Paulo Josue’s call to his teammates as he rallies them to prevent hosts Melaka from dominating at home when they clash in the Malaysia Cup semi-final return leg tonight.
KL are appearing in their first Malaysia Cup semi-final in 29 years, which is an achievement in itself but there’s no stopping the City Boys as they are determined to go one step further for a shot at glory.
KL, the Malaysia Cup winners for three consecutive years from 1987-1989, were held to a 1-1 draw by Melaka in the first leg played in Cheras on Monday.
The 32-year-old Josue doesn’ want his team to give away early goals.
“In the first leg, Melaka were the dominant force most of the time but when they grew tired, we started to turn things around,” said the Brazilian, who has been with KL since 2017.
“We respect them a lot as they are a good team but we will find their weaknesses to get the better of them. We can’t afford to make mistakes, like letting them score early…we have to be on our toes all the time.”
Josue admitted that Melaka had a slight advantage as they had played fewer matches in Group C following the withdrawal of Negri Sembilan due to Covid-19 issues in their team.
“They are a fresher compared to us. Our match against them tomorrow (today) will be our eighth game in a row after the break.
“But this is an outstanding opportunity for us to reach this far. We need to grab this chance and fight from the start to assure a place in the final,” added Josue.
Besides Josue, they can also count on hotshot striker Pablo Morales to deal a killer blow to Melaka.
Colombian-born Morales is in fiery form as he has notched his 10th Malaysia Cup goal so far.
Said Morales: “I’m here to do my best for the team, it really doesn’t matter who scores or assists, as long as every one is working hard towards the same goal – to win.”