IT was a memorable night for Sime Darby FC and Kelantan in the FA Cup semi-finals yesterday.
Sime Darby played an ultra-defensive game against Terengganu and it earned them a spot in the final, the first club to do so in the tournament's history.
They held the east coast side to a 0-0 draw at the Selayang Stadium for a 2-1 aggregate victory.
Kelantan pulled off a great escape in their return leg against Kedah by coming back from 2-0 down to force a draw in Alor Star with a 3-3 aggregate score to go through on away goals.
The FA Cup final, on May 19, will see a new champion with Kelantan aiming to get it right after losing in the final of the 2009 and 2011 editions.
Kelantan must thank their foreign duo, Obinna Nwaneri and Mohammed Ghaddar for reaching the final as both players cancelled out Kedah's first half leads.
Nwaneri headed home in the 47th minute before Ghaddar scored on the run 13 minutes later.
In the first half, Khyril Muhymeen Zambri scored a gem of a goal, guiding a low cross from captain Baddrol Baktiar with his heel past Kelantan goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat in the 31st minute.
His menacing runs troubled Kelantan and the 25-year-old found the net once again in the 43rd minute when he hammered home a pass from Mohd Fazliata Taib.
Sime Darby are the first team from the capital to make the final since Kuala Lumpur's 1999 triumph and coach Ismail Zakaria praised the heroic efforts of his players.
"It was sheer determination and desire which got us through. The plan was not to concede a goal and try to nick one on the break.
"We did not score but we did not concede either and that was enough for us," said a jubilant Ismail after being mobbed by players and officials at the final whistle.
With FA Cup top scorer Patrick Wleh suspended, Sime Darby adopted a conservative 4-1-4-1 formation to frustrate the defending champions and hang on to their advantage from the first leg.
Terengganu, missing striker Manaf Mamat through injury, created plenty of opportunities but were too wasteful in front of goal and became less of a threat after Liberian striker Francis Doe hobbled off injured five minutes after the break.
It was the home team which created the first chance when Faiz Isa's ninth-minute shot from distance was palmed away by Sharbinee Allawee Ramli.
Substitute Razali Umar Kandasamy could have had a hat-trick in the last 15 minutes but for the alertness of Sharbinee.