Team of the Week – MSL Matchweek 8
Selangor have proved themselves as genuine title contenders after beating 2012 champions Kelantan 1-0 in a closely contested battle at the Shah Alam Stadium, while league leaders Terengganu were shocked by club side Sime Darby 3-2 – they still lead the standings on goal difference, though. A lot of players impressed, but who made it into our Team of the Week? Find out now!
It is not an exaggeration that many Malaysian fans have the notion that any foreign striker who takes a penalty will score. However, 28-year-old Farizal Marlias dispelled that notion in the Selangor-Kelantan game by easily saving Forkey Doe's penalty, which proved to be decisive for Selangor. Throughout the game, he also looked confident and was able to nullify Kelantan's efforts.
Besides missing a penalty, Forkey Doe also had a night to forget because of Shahrom Abdul Kalam, who was rock solid against Kelantan. The former Perak defender partnered well with Steve Pantelidis to intercept passes and make key clearances.
Towering defender Damion Stewart marshalled the backline well with his physical presence to keep Sarawak quiet for most of the game. Although he may look languid at times during the game, he made it up with his smart positioning and by scoring Pahang’s second goal.
Sime Darby shockingly defeated table toppers Terengganu with their left full back, Farid Ramli playing a huge role. His constant offensive runs bear fruit when he scored a penalty, which he won himself, to give his team some breathing space. He didn't shirk his defensive duties too. When William Mensah was sent off, Farid provided cover in the Ghanian's absence to grab all three points for Sime Darby.
Another full back that hugely impressed was Riduwan Ma'on. In the 1-1 draw against JDT, the ATM defender shocked the Southern Tigers when he drifted into the penalty box unmarked and scored the opening goal of the game.
Sime Darby's Fazrul Hazli is in our Team of the Week for the second week in a row with yet another impressive display. He constantly terrorised Terengganu’s defence and also scored a goal – a header, no less – to help his team to win the game. If he continues his good run of form, he will surely be selected for national duty very soon.
Last week, Hafiz Kamal unfortunately did not make the cut last week despite his great performance, but he ensured that he would not be denied this time around. With his good reading of the game on both offensive and defensive ends, he was a beast in midfield against Sarawak and played his role as a pivot to perfection.
LionsXII snapped their losing run of two games thanks to Zulfahmi Arifin and Faris Ramli. Zulfahmi showed why he is one of the best set-piece takers in the league by scoring a free-kick against PKNS. In fact, he could’ve had another one if it wasn’t for the crossbar. Meanwhile, Faris was a menace in the left wing and got the winning goal for the Singaporean side.
What a performance from Paulo Rangel! Despite being on the receiving end of crude tackles, it didn't dampen him from putting on a good shift for his side and scoring the only goal of the game through a penalty. The current Golden Boot leader is slowly becoming a vital asset for Selangor, if he hasn't already.
Safee Sali may have lost a yard's pace, but against ATM, he brilliantly scored the equaliser for the cash-rich JDT. The 30-year-old national forward came on in the second half and produced a display that reminded us of the old Safee as he constantly pressured defenders and pushed his teammates up.