PDRM need great first leg against Kedah in Malaysia Cup SF - K Reuben

PDRM FA are embarking on the biggest month of their 12-year existence in Malaysian football, with possible Malaysia Cup glory sandwiched in between a do-or-die relegation showdown in the Malaysia Super League.

The Cops travel to Darul Aman Stadium to play an in-form Kedah in the Malaysia Cup first-leg semifinals on Friday, with a wary eye also cast on the MSL must-win finale against Sarawak on Oct. 21.

PDRM are ninth in the 12-team MSL, only two points above Penang and Terengganu, who occupy the bottom two.

Full-back K. Reuben admitted there is pressure juggling on both fronts in three crucial matches, that will define his team's 2016 campaign.

"We do not want to be relegated, we must do our best to stay in the league. But at the same time we have a great opportunity in the Malaysia Cup," Reuben told ESPN FC. "So it's a matter of turning up on matchday, and giving our best."

Singapore international Safuwan Bahruddin scored a crucial away goal against Kelantan in the first-leg quarterfinals to set the tone for an upset.

Despite losing 1-0 in the second leg, PDRM progressed on away goals, for a showdown against the 2015 Cup finalist.

Reuben, who was sent off in the first-leg victory, bemoaned the constant late lapses which have proved costly for PDRM this season, especially in the league.

"I know you can't rely on luck in football, but we have dropped at least 12 points in the late stages. The Cup was somehow easier to navigate, but in the semifinals there is no such thing as easy," said Reuben.

"Kedah are a well-organised side with good foreigners, we will have to approach them cautiously."

Thiago Augusto, Shane Smeltz and Liridon Krasniqi are the foreign hit men Reuben will be cautious of, with the encounter expected to draw a 40,000 home crowd.

Augusto and Smeltz struck a brace each in the 5-0 quarterfinal second leg win over Negeri Sembilan on Sep. 17, with Krasniqi completing the rout late on.

The only way the tough-tackling right-back sees PDRM easing past Kedah, is surviving the first leg relatively unscathed.

He added: "The first leg is crucial. We need to be consistent, especially at the back and not concede. If we can get an away goal or two, it would help our chances greatly."