(PAH: Azamuddin Akil 29′, 33′; Matias Conti 38′ | SAR: Shahrol Saperi 40′)
Pahang are one game away from the Malaysia Cup final after beating Sarawak 3-1 in the first leg of their last-four clash at the Darulmakmur Stadium.
In a clinical burst which started just before the half-hour mark, Tok Gajah netted thrice in a nine-minute spell to put themselves firmly in control of the contest.
First, Azamuddin Akil nodded home from a yard out in the 29th minute after R. Gopinathan had capitalised on some slack defending and broke free down the left, before he added a second four minutes later when he met Jalaluddin Jaafar’s right-wing cross with a bullet header.
A horrendous error from Sarawak keeper Sani Anuar Kamsani, when he needlessly raced off his line and was left in no man’s land, then allowed Matias Conti to send a 25-yard lob into the unguarded net to make it 3-0 to the hosts in the 38th minute.
Nonetheless, Shahrol Saperi did manage to pull one back four minutes before the break when his rasping left-footed drive took a wicked deflection off Shahrizan Salleh and sailed past a hapless Khairul Azhan Khalid to hand the visitors a valuable away goal.
Both sides meet again in the second leg next Saturday at the Sarawak State Stadium.
Pahang: Khairul Azhan Khalid, Jalaluddin Jaafar, Damion Stewart, Razman Roslan, Shahrizan Salleh, R. Gopinathan, Azidan Sarudin, Hafiz Kamal, R. Surendran, Azamuddin Akil, Matias Conti.
Sarawak: Sani Anuar Kamsani, Shahrol Saperi, Hairol Mokhtar, Mafry Balang, Ramesh Lai, Zamri Morshidi, Guy Bwele, Junior Eldstal, Ashri Chuchu, Muamer Salibasic, Bobby Gonzales.