Matches against LionsXII
Tuesday 19th August (Jalan Besar Stadium)
Friday 29th August (Darul Makmur Stadium, Kuantan)
Who exactly are they?
One of the best-supported teams in Malaysia, the traditional powerhouses are finally hitting their stride once again following their promotion to the top-tier Malaysian Super League (MSL) last year, having been relegated in 2011. They have won the MSL on five different occasions, and the Malaysia Cup three times. They famously won the double in 1992 as well, with that team – dubbed the Pahang FA dream team – boasting Malaysian legends Dollah Salleh and Zainal Abidin, as well as a certain Singaporean who is now the head coach of the LionsXII.
The season just past
Pahang were on course to win the league title having topped the table for most of the season, until a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of LionsXII. That sparked a poor run of form which saw them drop to third in the table eventually. However, they did score a total of 36 goals, the third-best record in the league, and 11 wins out of 22 certainly means that Pahang are a good attacking footballing side not to be underestimated.
Last time around in the Malaysia Cup…
Champions. Pahang FA surprised many in the Malaysia Cup by emerging winners, shocking 2012 winners Kelantan 1-0, while scoring 21 goals in the whole competition itself.
Matias Conti. The Argentinian playmaker is a key figure within the Pahang setup, and is equally adept at scoring goals as well as creating them. He was Pahang FA’s top scorer in the Malaysia Cup last year with nine goals, the same number he scored in the league this year. Technically superb with a great footballing brain, his partnership with Dickson Nwakaeme upfront will be real handful for the LionsXII defence.
Did You Know?
Pahang were the opponents for Singapore in the 1994 Malaysia Cup final. That game, a 4-0 win for Singapore, was also the Lions’ last-ever appearance in the Cup tournament until the formation of the LionsXII team in 2012.
A legend in Malaysian football, Zainal Abidin Hassan was capped 138 times by Malaysia, scoring 78 goals. He won several titles and accolades in a playing career which saw him switch between Selangor FA and Pahang FA four times. One of the most successful players produced by Malaysia of all time, he is now in his second spell as a coach with Pahang, the first of which led to one Super League and one Malaysia Cup title.