Team of the Week – MSL Matchweek 7
With the race for the coveted title heating up, players are beginning to show their potential and capabilities to help their teams. FourFourTwo Malaysia writers list out their Team of the Week for Matchweek 7!
With his outstanding performance in Terengganu’s 1-0 win over JDT, Sharbinee Allawee is given the nod ahead of former Harimau Muda custodian Izham Tarmizi to be the goalkeeper in this Team of the Week. The experienced goalie showed no nerves and frustrated Luciano Figueroa and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha with his numerous saves. When he re-joined the Turtles earlier this season, many expected him to play back-up to Sharmirza Yusoff, but based on his performance against JDT, he looks set to cement his place in the first eleven.
T-Team went into their clash with PKNS with high morale following a victory over Sarawak in their last match, but Helmi Remeli, who has been impressive with PKNS this year, spoiled their party. Hardworking in defence, he read the game well and easily nullified the Titans’ attack. He also scored one of his team’s three goals against the league’s bottom club. Together with Indonesian Hamka Hamzah, they proved to be one of the most reliable centre-back partnerships in the league. However, another duo stole the show this week with their heroic performance.
Ahmad Azlan Zainal and Vincent Bikana were Terengganu’s key men against JDT. While Ahmad Azlan was the cooler head and intercepted most of the passes made by the Southern Tigers, Bikana was in the thick of the action and kept the more experienced Figueroa at bay. And to cap it off, the 22-year-old Cameroonian also scored the only goal of the game to help Terengganu bag the three points.
It's still hard to believe that Nazmi Faiz Mansor is only 19. Confident with the ball, the young PKNS midfielder outplayed T-Team's experienced foreign duo of Nelson San Martin and Fabio Flor and created a lot of chances for Slovakian hotshot Karlo Primorac as his side strolled to a 3-1 win.
Kelantan's Badhri Radzi performed well in a hotly contested draw with Pahang. ‘Piya’ led by examples as captain as he rallied his fellow Red Warriors to fight back against the reigning Malaysia Cup champions. Constantly battling for midfield superiority with Pahang’s Hafiz Kamal, he thrived with his passing ability and also scored the first goal of the game.
Ismail Faruqi was another captain who performed well over the weekend. In the game against JDT, the Terengganu captain mesmerised the crowd with his work rate and set-pieces and performed the playmaker and pivot roles at the same time.
Diminutive winger Fazrul Hazli Kadri came back to haunt his former side as he scored two goals to help Sime Darby beat Perak in Ipoh. Our Tiger of the Month for December 2013 showed no mercy as he constantly tormented the young Perak side with his jinking runs.
Another former Perak winger that impressed was S. Chanturu. After taking his time to gel with his new Sarawak team-mates, the 26-year-old Kedahan came alive against LionsXII. He showed a sharp contrast from his time at Perak last year as he scored two goals and gave LionsXII defender Faritz Hameed a day to forget.
Selangor's Paulo Rangel continued his fine goal-scoring form against ATM, but his opposing striker, Juan Manuel Arostegui impressed us instead this week. He might no longer be the unstoppable juggernaut from his Selangor MPPJ days, but the Argentine proved to be a handful and showed a lot of determination to get the equalising goal for his side despite getting limited supply from his team-mates.
The last spot for the Team of the Week goes to Rashid Aya. The 23-year-old Sarawak winger/forward scored one and assisted one in a brilliant team performance last Saturday. With the help from Joseph Kalang Tie, Ashri Chuchu and Chanturu, Rashid ran around LionsXII’s defence. Although it is still too early to call, it does look like he has the makings of a top player for Sarawak.