Selangor wary of T-Team foreign duo ahead of Malaysia Cup semifinals

Selangor coach K. Gunalan has earmarked T-Team's Makan Konate and Patrick Cruz as big threats to his side, as they prepare for the visit of the Titans in the Malaysia Cup first leg semifinals at Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday.

The Red Giants will especially remember Konate, who struck the winner against them for a 1-0 victory in the Malaysia Super League (MSL) on Aug. 3.

The Malian's goal had doomed Selangor to their third consecutive MSL defeat, which also sealed the fate of then coach Zainal Abidin Hassan, who was sacked four days later.

Gunalan, appointed interim coach in the wake of Zainal's departure, wants to ensure a similar scenario does not happen.

"T-Team are a good team, they have Makan Konate and Patrick Cruz who are always danger players. We have to be tight and deny them any space in goalscoring positions," Gunalan told ESPN FC.

"Our priority is to get a big result at home. It won't be easy playing them in Kuala Terengganu in the return-leg, as they may be defensive if they score against us on Saturday."

Selangor's defiant run in the Malaysia Cup is a stark contrast to their faltering fortunes in the league, which has seen them slip to fifth from third place, which they occupied for most of the season.

The defending champions have only lost once in the competition, a 1-0 defeat to Pahang in the group stage on Jul. 30.

But they recovered to thump the Elephants 3-0 in the reverse fixture before thrashing Pahang 4-1 to top Group B.

PKNS FC then gave Gunalan's men a real test in the quarterfinals, which they aced 5-3 on aggregate for a showpiece against the Terengganu outfit.

"Our form in the Malaysia Cup has been good. We seem to producing the goods in the Cup, but somehow are struggling for goals in the league. The boys are however geared up for this game, and want a good lead for the second leg." Gunalan added.

Selangor do not have any major injury concerns coming into this game, and will start with the tournament's joint-top scorer Patrick "Ronaldinho" Wleh in front of goal.

Gunalan is also banking on a big turnout at the Shah Alam Stadium, which has been a rarity this season.

He said: "It's been a while since we had a big home crowd. I am hoping the fans will turn up in numbers to give the players a big boost."

The return leg will take place at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium on Oct. 15.