The 2021 TM Malaysia Cup will be on its 100th edition since inaugurated as HMS Malaya Cup in 1921 with 16 teams to roll out fiercely in becoming the centenary’s champion, a feat that would add to the winner’s records and reputation for years to come.
The draw for the Malaysia Cup was held recently with defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim FC (JDT) and Kedah Darul Aman FC (KDA) are seen to be tournament favourites.
All teams are placed in a group of four to a total of four groups, with eleven teams from the Super League and five from the Premier League to play from 25 September onwards.
Two top teams from each group will advance to the knockout stages. As the Premier League is still ongoing, the top five teams from the league will be automatically assigned to respective groups once the league concludes, as the draw has already predetermined their positions according to their final league position.
Group A houses Super League teams Penang FC, Kuala Lumpur City FC, Sri Pahang FC and one from the Premier League.
Third-placed Penang will face stiff competition from Kuala Lumpur City, the only team that have not been defeated at home in the league season.
Sri Pahang, deemed as among the most experienced in the competition could emulate the success of the 2013 team with Dollah Salleh now at helm.
In Group B, record winner Selangor FC will play against Terengganu FC, Perak FC and the third-placed Premier League team. As with Selangor, the two Super League teams also have their share of success in the competition.
Super League runners-up KDA will first meet their last league opponent Melaka United FC. Placed in Group C, the two will be joined by the Premier League champion and fifth-placed team from the same league.
Group D is where incumbent champion and Super League winner JDT will begin its title defence against league peers PJ City FC and Sabah FC, with fourth-placed Premier League team joining the rendezvous.
At least two Premier League teams have secured their passage in the Malaysia Cup, which are Negeri Sembilan FC and Sarawak United, both subject to their final league positions. Three remaining slots for the Cup are in contention among PDRM FC, Kuching City FC, Kelantan FC and Kelantan United FC.
The Southeast Asia’s oldest cup competition is back with a group format with six matches played for each team starting 25 and 26 September. 48 matches will be played in total with the group stage concluding on 9 and 10 November prior to the two-legged quarterfinals on 14 and 18 November.
The two-legged semifinals will be on 22 and 26 November with the final slated to be played on 30 November at a predetermined venue.
THE BRUNEIAN | KUALA LUMPUR