SABAH will attempt to make Malaysia Games history by qualifying for the football final for the first time when they meet Negri Sembilan in the semi-finals at the Darulmakmur Stadium in Kuantan today.
Federal Territories too, after eliminating three-time champions Terengganu in the last eight, are eyeing their first football gold but first they must get past President's Cup champions Perak in the evening kick-off.
The delayed arrival of striker Rozaimi Abdul Rahman did not have a major impact on Sabah, who, thanks to a Leopold Alphonso Otong hat-trick, were able to beat Selangor 3-2 in the quarter-finals.
Sabah team manager Alijus Sipil confirmed Rozaimi will take to the field having arrived yesterday from Sabah's 3-2 defeat to Selangor in a Super League match on Tuesday.
"With the arrival of Rozaimi and two others (Razid Gafar and Dendy Lowa) who joined us earlier for the quarter-finals, we have a stronger team. Hopefully, we will be able to make history by reaching the final for the first time," said Alijus.
Perak laboured against nine-man Perlis, who held on for a 0-0 draw after extra-time before going out 4-3 on penalties, but FT coach Razip Ismail still thinks of them as the favourites.
"They have won the President's Cup (Under-21) and Youth Cup (Under-19) this year. They are a strong team. Their captain (Nurridzuan Abu Hassan) and lead striker (G. Mugenthirran) are two of their players we need to watch out for," said Razip, looking to go one better than 2010 when they lost to Terengganu in the semi-finals.
FT's captain and centre-back Taufiq Shukor is doubtful while midfielder Azmirul Azmi is carrying an ankle injury.
Negri (2004), who defeated hosts Pahang 2-1 in the last eight, and Perak (2002) are the only previous champions remaining while FT, then competing as Kuala Lumpur, were finalists in 1994.
TODAY -- S-finals: FT v Perak (Kuantan MC 1, 4.15pm), Sabah v Negri (Darulmakmur Stadium, 8.45pm).