KUALA LUMPUR: Kedah face an uphill task to reach the boys’ team quarter-finals of the AirAsia-BAM National Junior League Finals at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara.
Third seeds Kedah started well today when they saw off Pahang 3-2 in the opening tie but ran out of steam in the second, losing 3-2 to Perlis.
Perlis, who lost their first tie 4-1 to Kuala Lumpur, can reach the quarter-finals if they beat Pahang in the final Group C fixture tomorrow.
Only the top two teams from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals, and Kuala Lumpur look favourites to come out tops after beating Pahang 4-1 in their second tie.
The top seeds in the boys’ event Penang and Selangor, were hardly troubled in the opening day of competition.
Penang, who are in Group A, beat Perak 4-1, while Selangor won both their ties and are favourites to top Group B.
In the girls’ event, Kedah look stronger, thrashing Pahang 5-0 in the opening tie. They will play Johor and Putrajaya tomorrow to determine their quarter-final spot.
Kedah team manager Ng Yong Chai is still optimistic that both the state’s boys and girls will reach the next round.
"On paper, they should qualify. I think it's important that we managed to get early wins today. Hopefully they get to play well with confidence to seal their qualification," said Yong Chai.