The 2022 Malaysia FA Cup semifinals were played over the weekend, with the finalists for this year's cup competition being decided in two contrasting matches. Reigning Liga Super Malaysia champions Johor Darul Ta'zim managed to book their ticket to the final with a 6-1 demolition job of struggling Penang FC, while Terengganu FC were made to work hard for theirs after edging out Selangor FC on penalties.
Friday's semifinal saw the league leaders taking on the league bottom dwellers as JDT host Penang at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium. Penang managed to won their place in this year's semifinal with a thrilling win after extra-time away at Sri Pahang FC in the quarterfinals, however there will be no repeat of such performance at Iskandar Puteri.
Bergson gave JDT the lead in the 19th minute before Fernando Forestieri made it 2-0 after 24 minutes, with the Southern Tigers truly holding the upperhand throughout the first half.
All Hell then broke loose in the second half, with young winger Arif Aiman bagging a hat-trick and Syahmi Safari rounding off the rout in the second minute of injury time, rendering Lucas Espindola's 54th minute goal for Penang a mere consolation in an utterly one-sided match.
Considering JDT's dominance over Malaysian football in recent years, it's quite a surprise that this year will be JDT's first appearance in the Malaysia FA Cup final in six years, having last reached the stage back in 2016 where they beat the now-defunct PKNS FC 2-1 to lift their maiden title in the competition.
A much more tighter affair was on display in Saturday's semifinal, with Terengganu hosting Selangor at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium.
Nor Hakim Hassan gave visiting Selangor the lead in the 24th minute, prompting Terengganu to go all out on the Red Giants in search of an equalizer. The Turtles' efforts were paid off in the 48th minute after Faisal Halim managed to snake his way through three Selangor defenders before firing home past Samuel Somerville in the Selangor goal.
Both sides then fought for a winner throughout the remainder of the match, but after 120 minutes the scoreline remained tied at 1-1, thus forcing the match into a penalty shootout.
Out of Terengganu's four takers only Manny Ott failed in his assignment, while both Aliff Haiqal and Yazan Al-Alab were unable to find the target from Selangor's four. This set the stage for Shahrul Nizam to score the winning penalty for Terengganu, which the defender did admirably.
The shootout win meant that Terengganu will play in their first Malaysia FA Cup final in 11 years. The Turtles' last final appearance came in 2011, where they saw off local rivals Kelantan 2-1 to lift their second Malaysia FA Cup title.
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) will announce the date for this year's Malaysia FA Cup final within this week.