Selangor Selection side up for SOS Cup challenge
Coach Elavarasan claims his team are underdogs, but believes his charges can surprise S'pore Selection
It's been almost three months since they last won a match.
Despite a winless run of eight matches, PKNS coach E Elavarasan is hopeful of leading a Selangor Selection side to a win over a Singapore Selection side in the main match of the Sultan of Selangor's (SOS) Cup at the National Stadium tomorrow.
Previous Selangor Selection sides in the exhibition friendly usually comprised the Selangor FA squad with a few invited players, but Elavarasan will lead out essentially his PKNS side for tomorrow's battle.
The 52-year-old coach told The New Paper over the phone yesterday: "Pride is on the line (for us).
"Being nominated to represent Selangor in the SOS Cup is an honour for PKNS.
"Anyway, a one-off match like this is totally different from a league match... and on Saturday, both teams will go all out for the win.
"So I think it will be an exciting match for the fans in Singapore."
PKNS, whose last victory (a 3-0 win over Perak) came on Feb 11, have won just two of their 11 Malaysian Super League matches this season, and are lying ninth in the 12-team league.
They are also out of the Malaysian FA Cup, after a 1-0 defeat by Melaka United.
However, they boast players of calibre.
SULTAN OF SELANGOR’S CUP 2017
Where: National Stadium
- 4.45pm: Singapore Sports School v Selangor Combined Schools
- 6.30pm: Singapore Veterans v Selangor Veterans
- 7.45pm: Singapore Selection v Selangor Selection
Tickets for the match are priced at $8 for adults and $3 for concession holders, excluding ticketing fees.
Concession tickets are applicable to students aged 16 and below, and senior citizens aged 60 and above. Children aged four and above must purchase a ticket for admission.
Infants in arms and children under four years of age may be admitted free of charge, provided they do not occupy a seat.
Tickets are available at www.sportshubtix.com, SportsHub Box Office, SingPost outlets and the Sports Hub hotline (+65 3158 7888).
Among them are Liberian international striker Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh, who has scored 48 league goals in 4½ seasons in Malaysian football.
PKNS also have several players capped by Malaysia, such as defenders Amiridzwan Taj, Azmi Muslim and Sabre Mat Abu, midfielders Affizie Faisal and K Gurusamy, and forwards Safee Sali and Khyril Muhymeen.
Safee, 33, is a familiar name to local football fans as he has scored in three international matches against Singapore.
He scored three times over a two-legged World Cup qualifier in July 2011, and also bagged the first goal in Malaysia's 3-1 victory at the National Stadium in Nov 2014 to send the Lions crashing out of the AFF Suzuki Cup.
Singapore Selection coach Fandi Ahmad is not underestimating the quality of the PKNS players.
"I still consider them a dangerous team because they have many experienced players," said the local football icon yesterday.
"As for us, making a new team gel with just two training sessions is not easy.
"But whether we are underdogs or favourites is immaterial.
"What matters is whether our players go out on game day, motivated and ready to perform to get the win."
Elavarasan, though, insisted the Singapore Selection side are the firm favourites heading into tomorrow's match.
Even though S.League top scorer, Home United's Croatian striker Stipe Plazibat, has pulled out with a calf injury, Fandi's side are packed with Singapore internationals such as goalkeeper Hassan Sunny, Hariss Harun, Faris Ramli and Khairul Amri.
However, Elavarasan added he and his players are not about to roll over.
"Fandi gets to pick the best squad possible from the whole S.League, whereas we have no other options," he said.
"Our players know the odds are against them, but we are prepared.
"The boys are all geared up and we will go out to try and get the result."