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Kogileswaran eyes dream first start with the Elephants

PETALING JAYA: It’s a case of better late than never for Pahang striker M. Kogileswaran Raj (pic).
He is set to make his first start of the season with the Elephants when they wrap up their crucial Malaysia Cup Group A campaign against T-Team at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan tomorrow.
The 19-year-old former Harimau Muda player wants to make an instant impact in his first start under assistant coach Ahmad Shaharuddin Rosdi, who is standing in for the suspended head coach Dollah Salleh (serving out an 18-month ban).
“I’m all excited. It has been a long wait, but I’m no quitter. I’m taking this opportunity as a challenge to prove myself.
“So far, I have only played in a handful of matches as a substitute. So, I know what I have got to do to win the coach’s trust – perform to his expectations.
“It is every player’s dream to be in the first eleven. I hope this break will be the start of better things to come in my playing career. My job is to get the goals and that’s what I intend to do against T-Team,” said Kogileswaran, who will partner Brazilian striker Matheus Alves up front.
With just one more match left, three teams – Pahang, T-Team and Negri Sembilan – are jostling to join leaders Perak State Development Corporation (PKNP) in the quarter-finals.
Premier League debutants PKNP lead Group A with 10 points from five matches.
The outcome from the final round of matches will determine the runner-ups from the group. Pahang, with six points, are the frontrunners as all they need is a win over T-Team to finish runners-up.
The Titans and bottom-placed Negri are tied on five points. The Titans need to beat Pahang to keep their hopes alive and hope PKNP will do them a favour by beating Negri at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi.
So far, six teams have checked into the last eight – PKNP (Group A); Perak, Felda United (Group B); Kedah (Group C); Johor Darul Ta’zim and Selangor (Group D).
Melaka are in the driver’s seat to join Kedah from Group C. Melaka have nine points and need only a draw against out-of-contention UiTM to clinch their quarter-final ticket.
Kelantan, with six points, have only a mathematical chance as they’ll need to beat Kedah in their last match at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar.

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