Team of the Week - MSL Matchweek 9

FourFourTwo Malaysia writers pick the best performers from the ninth round of Malaysian Super League!

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Terengganu took the top spot again after comfortably beating ATM in a one-sided match at the Selayang Stadium, while Selangor secured a victory at Sarawak’s home fortress with goals from Andik Vermansyah and Thamil Arasu. Many players impressed, but only eleven of them could make it into our Team of the Week. So, who are they? Check it out now!

  • Goalkeeper

Farizal Marlias is our Goalkeeper of the Week again due to his dominating presence in goal against Sarawak. Many teams usually find it difficult playing in Kuching, but Selangor defeated Sarawak with a clean sheet thanks to Farizal, who pulled off several saves to deny the home team. He also recorded his second straight clean sheet at the same time.

  • Defenders

Besides the good performance by his goalie, Shahrom Abdul Kalam did not disappoint as well in Selangor’s match against Sarawak. Playing alongside the experienced Steve Pantelidis, the one-cap Malaysia international made key interceptions and managed to keep Sarawak’s tricky forwards quiet.

Without a doubt, LionsXII without Safuwan Baharudin will be a completely different team. The 23-year-old defender is one of the leaders in the team as well as a menace during set-pieces – two qualities that he precisely showed with his thumping stoppage time header to beat home side Perak 1-0.

Although his team has underperformed so far this season, Marzuki Yusoff produced an impressive performance and scored a goal to help T-Team beat the in-form Sime Darby and haul themselves off the foot of the Super League table.

Having already played in various positions throughout the season, Hariss Harun demonstrated his versatility again against Kelantan by playing at the back. Despite conceding a goal, the makeshift centre-back excelled with his good reading of the game to make key clearances.

  • Midfielders

Initially struggling to break into the Selangor first team, Indonesian sensation Andik Vermansyah finally asserted himself lately. Against Sarawak, he easily dribbled past Mafry Balang and Ramesh Lai Boon Huat. As an icing on the cake, he scored a brilliant goal by lobbing the Sarawak goalkeeper.

Although he is not getting any younger, Amri Yahyah has shown he can rub shoulders with other star players of JDT this season. With a keen eye for goal, Amri equalised for his team by capitalising on an error by Kelantan’s Nazri Ahmad, which paved the way to victory for the Southern Tigers.

Safiq Rahim was admitedly not at his best last season and many thought he would move back to Selangor. However, he has persevered and is slowly returning to his 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup form. In his match-up against Kelantan talisman Badhri Radzi, the former national captain came out on top and constantly carved open his opposition, defence with his brilliant through balls, showing why he is considered as one of the best midfielders of his generation.

Since joining Terengganu from Kelantan *cough* via JDT *cough* Norfarhan Mohammad has been influential and imposing either as a winger or as an attacking midfielder. It was no different against ATM as he assisted his side’s first goal and scored the second.

  • Strikers

Another Terengganu player who impressed against ATM is Abdul Manaf Mamat. The product of Terengganu youth team tormented the Gladiators with his well-timed runs, in which one of them resulted in the opening goal of the game.

In the midweek match against PKNS, Nigerian sensation Dickson Nwakaeme finally showed the kind of form that convinced Pahang to sign him. The former Kelantan tank was in the zone as he danced past several PKNS defenders for his first goal and scored his second with a sublime finish from outside the box.