SHAH ALAM: The FA Cup final at the Shah Alam Stadium proved to be a grand celebration of two football giants.
About 80,000 fans converged on the stadium to witness the first-ever showdown between Kedah and Pahang in the 28th edition of the FA Cup final yesterday.
Fans from the two sides turned the iconic venue into a sea of colours – with the Kedahans donning their team’s green and yellow and Pahang supporters in the team’s black and white.
Although the big kick-off was scheduled for 9pm, the gates were opened as early as 4pm.
And by 7pm, the 80,000-capacity stadium was almost filled to the brim.
Police were on hand to control the crowd and there were no untoward incidents.
Kudos to both groups of fans for putting sportsmanship first.
Despite the long and tiring journey, especially the Kedah fans, they were all bustling with enthusiasm.
The fans of both teams also stretched their vocal cords as they chanted and sang their hearts out.
They also came prepared as they paraded their state flags and banners to spur their teams on.
Pahang fans signalled their firm intention of taking on the region’s best by unveiling a mural spelt “ASIA” and a huge banner of the FA Cup trophy.
The winner of the FA Cup will get to play in the AFC Cup next season.
Not to be outdone, the Kedah fans came up with an eye-catching banner that roared “Forza Kedah” (Go Kedah).
The sound of horns blaring and the beating of drums livened up the proceedings – turning the occasion into a festive atmosphere.
The volume reached a crescendo when the starting 11 from both sides marched onto the pitch. This was followed by a hearty rendition of both the states’ and the national anthems.
Then came the big kick-off.