It is time for another derby – the second of the season – as Selangor and Kuala Lumpur get ready to renew hostilities for the 85th time in the two Klang Valley team’s historic rivalry.
A last-eight berth in the FA Cup is at stake when the two teams clash in a second round match at the Petaling Jaya Stadium on Friday, having last met in this tournament in 2018.
While Selangor took that quarter-final tie on penalties despite Kuala Lumpur winning the second leg 3-0 to even the aggregate score, the City Boys last knocked the Red Giants out of the FA Cup in 2000 with a 2-1 aggregate success in the second round.
The winner of this tie between five-time champions Selangor, and Kuala Lumpur, whose third and last triumph in this competition came in 1999, will face Sabah in Kota Kinabalu in the quarter-finals on July 23.
Kuala Lumpur are fresh off success in the AFC Cup where they have advanced to the knockout stage while Selangor suffered a 2-0 defeat to Melaka United in a Super League match on Tuesday.
“We had a few problems with food poisoning and injuries but we’ll be ready for the game,” said Kuala Lumpur coach Bojan Hodak. “We know Selangor and they know us so I don’t think there will be any surprises.”
Jordan Mintah is set to make his debut for the Malaysia Cup champions after joining on loan from Terengganu.
The Ghanaian striker, who has scored seven goals in the Premier League this season for Terengganu II and racked up 39 strikes in 46 appearances in Malaysian football since 2020, could become the first Kuala Lumpur player to mark his debut by scoring in the Klang Valley derby.
Hodak will have to reshuffle his line-up to fit Mintah in and his combination with Romel Morales and Paulo Josue will be of interest to the city side’s fans.
“We have Jordan with us and he looks good in training so it will be interesting to see him play with Paulo and Romel,” said Hodak. “They will need to find an understanding with each other and for me to find a system that is best for them. We have ideas and when they get on the pitch, we can switch a little to what they like.”
Hodak does not think Mintah’s lack of competitive activity – his last match was on May 28 when he scored twice in Terengganu II’s 5-1 win over the FAM-MSN Project Squad in a Premier League match – will be a problem.
“No, because he was in full training and he has also been training very well with us this week,” said Hodak of Mintah, who scored twice against Selangor for Terengganu in the Malaysia Cup last year. “Sometimes when you get into the game you will need some time but I think he will get better with every minute.”
A red card for Giancarlo Gallifuoco allowed Selangor to snatch a late equaliser from the penalty spot in the opening Super League match of the season which Kuala Lumpur looked to be on top before ending 3-3.
Romel Morales missed that match as Zhafri Yahya, Hadin Azman and Ryan Lambert were on target for Kuala Lumpur while Herlison Caion (two) and Hyuri Henrique scored for Selangor.
“In the first meeting we were leading 3-2 and Giancarlo got a red card and this is when they equalised,” Hodak recalled. “If we had a full squad the whole match I believe we would have won. We had a few problems at the start of the season while Selangor also had a few new players so this time I think it will be a good game.”
Not only have Selangor not beaten Kuala Lumpur in five meetings, which is their longest winless run in derby history, but Selangor are also under severe pressure from fans following a 2-0 defeat by Melaka United on Tuesday which left them with just one point from their last three Super League matches.
Winger Hyuri Henrique and defender missed the Melaka defeat through suspension while Baha Abdelrahman Safuwan Baharudin, Harith Haikal Adam Afkar, Norhakim Hassan, Azrin Afiq Rusmini and Ahmad Zikri Khalili were out through injury or fitness concerns.
Herlison Caion is Selangor’s main goal threat, having scored 13 goals in all competitions this season including twice in the 3-3 draw in the first derby this season.
Hodak said the pressure on Selangor to produce a win in the derby is a double-edged sword.
“It can be an advantage and it can be trouble also,” said Hodak, who has yet to lose to Selangor in five meetings since taking charge of Kuala Lumpur.
“They are like wounded lions and will try everything to win the game. The good thing for us is that we are coming off a good run in the AFC Cup where we achieved our target of going through to the next round. We don’t feel any real pressure.”
DOWN MEMORY LANE
One of Kuala Lumpur’s most remarkable FA Cup wins over Selangor came in the second leg of the quarter-finals in 1993, the year the City Boys lifted the trophy for the first time.
Having lost the first leg 2-0, Kuala Lumpur were also 2-0 down at half-time of the second leg at the Merdeka Stadium to trail 4-0 on aggregate before launching a memorable comeback.
Annuar Abu Bakar and K. Sanbagamaran scored in the first half for Selangor before L. Suresh reduced the deficit early in the second half. Striker T. Gopinath Naidu then came on for Subadron Aziz to score a hat-trick in the last 15 minutes to tie the aggregate score 4-4. Kuala Lumpur won the replay 1-0 to advance to the semi-finals.
Gopinath’s hat-trick remains the only treble scored by a Kuala Lumpur player in derby history.
1. KL are unbeaten in the last 5 meetings with Selangor, the city side’s longest such derby run
2. No KL player has marked his KL debut by scoring in the derby, a fact which Jordan Mintah can change on Friday
3. KL last knocked Selangor out of the FA Cup in 2000 – a 2-1 aggregate win in the 2nd rd
4. This is the 85th derby meeting since 1979, and the 15th meeting in the FA Cup
5. Of the past 14 FA Cup meetings, KL have won 5 and lost 7, scoring 19 goals against 24
6. Selangor have a 2-1 win-loss record in penalty shoot-outs against KL, winning the last shoot-out 8-7 in a 2018 FA Cup quarter-final tie
7. Fandi Ahmad is the highest KL scorer in derby history with 7 goals. In the current squad, Paulo Josue has scored 3 times, Zhafri Yahya, Hadin Azman and Romel Morales twice each, and Ryan Lambert once
8. Safee Sali has scored once in the derby – for Selangor. He has also scored 3 goals against Selangor – for PKNS (2) and JDT (1)
9. KL are unbeaten in 6 FA Cup matches since 2018, excluding penalty shoot-outs
LAST 5 MEETINGS
4 March 2022 Kuala Lumpur 3 Selangor 3, Cheras (Super League)
18 Nov 2021 Kuala Lumpur 1 Selangor, Cheras (Malaysia Cup quarter-finals)
14 Nov 2021 Selangor 0 Kuala Lumpur 2, Petaling Jaya (Malaysia Cup quarter-finals)
24 July 2021 Kuala Lumpur 1 Selangor 1, Cheras (Super League)
13 March 2021 Selangor 1 Kuala Lumpur 1, Petaling Jaya (Super League)