DEZ CORKHILL is:
HOW “LUCKY UNDERPANTS” CAN BE THE 21st CENTURY VERSION OF THE “TAMANG SARI” KRIS.
For good players, the upcoming Malaysia Cup semi-final second leg at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka is EXACTLY the kind of challenge that will pull the best out of this team of high character. As a professional sportsman in Malaysia, It will rarely get better than this high-stakes winner-take-all showdown.
A 1-1 draw at an empty home in their first Malaysia Cup semi-final in 29 seasons means that a win by any means (or a high scoring draw) is required by Kuala Lumpur City in their opponents’ home Hang Jebat Stadium in front of success-starved fanatical supporters.
That’s pressure. Good players LOVE, adore, thrive on pressure situations.
Kuala Lumpur have good players. Don’t believe me?
Kevin Mendoza – best ‘keeper in the league;
Kamal Azizi & Danny Ting – best defensive full-back pairing in Malaysia;
Kenny Pal-Raj – Biggest heart in the league;
Giancarlo “GG” Gallifuoco – best defensive leader in the League;
Ryan Lambert & Akram Mahinan – Tidiest midfield duo in the League with an incredible mental telepathy;
Zhafri Yahya & J Partiban – most responsible and hardest working wide player pairing in Malaysia;
Paulo Josue – best play-maker in the Malaysia Cup;
Romel Morales – biggest striking find in Malaysia in decades. Who knew Romel could be this potent?;
Shaqiran & Hadin Azman – Best supporting wide pairing in the league;
Safee Sali, Indra Putra & Shukor Adan – Most experienced street-wise players in Malaysia ready to serve when and if required;
Anwar Ibrahim, Amirzafran, Izwandy – proven big-game players when called upon;
Nik Shahrul & Irfan Zakaria – Best users of crutches in the Malaysia.
Bojan Hodak – Best, and most qualified, Coach in Malaysia by some distance.
Kuala Lumpur’s good players will thrive on the sporting importance and intensity of the occasion at Hang Jebat. Unfortunately, Melaka have good players too. Curse them !!! It means that a contest that is incredibly tight will be decided by tiny, tiny details. The players will do their part – don’t worry about that. But that means that the onus for Kuala Lumpur City’s success, dear KL fans old and new, falls upon YOU.
If Kuala Lumpur are to fall at the final hurdle, then it won’t be because of the players. Oh no! It may be because YOU didn’t wear your “lucky” underpants (admit it, we all have a set of lucky underwear) or lucky match-day shirt; It may be because YOU chose a different day-of-game routine; It may because YOU didn’t turn on the match coverage on Unifi or YouTube early enough; it may be because YOU didn’t wear the correct lucky scarf.
It might not be as traditional as the “Tamang Sari Kris” in seeing off the (footballing) danger posed in Melaka, but it might be as effective in 2021. So, KL fans, dig out that underwear (but don’t wash them just in case the good luck charm is washed away). Revive that belief that this KL City team who have consistently defied the odds can do it again. And wish this charismatic set of players and staff all the good fortune you can muster via positive thoughts, prayers and karma.
They have given you – the much-maligned KL fans – one heck of a ride so far. But on Friday, they – the players – need your help more than ever however that may be; even if it means wearing your good-luck “yucky” underwear. If they lose this semi-final, then it might be Your fault !!!
(PS: And if/when they win in Melaka, please do NOT wash that underwear before Tuesday. It may lose you some friends but it could also be key to Kuala Lumpur City winning the Piala Malaysia).