Team of the Week - MSL Round 14
ATM and Perak came out from their rut and produced morale boosting victories in Round 14, beating PKNS 4-1 and high-flying Terengganu 2-0 respectively, while Pahang remain at the top after thrashing Sime Darby 4-1 thanks Dickson Nwakaeme, who is in our Team of the Week. Who else made it into the team? Find out now!
Sarawak’s back-up goalkeeper Fadzley Rahim further staked his claim for the number one shirt as he produced an outstanding display against Kelantan. The 26-year-old showed jitters in the first half, but in the second half he pulled off several saves and commanded his box well to get a clean sheet.
After last season’s yo-yo performances, Bunyamin Umar is beginning to get his form back as he demonstrated against the LionsXII. The Red Giants skipper was an inspirational figure in defence and in attack with his overlapping runs and crosses.
Many thought Gyabor Gyepes' absence would have affected Sarawak, but Hairol Mokhtiar stepped his game up to ensure that his team left Kota Bharu with all three points. The centre-back impressed with his well-timed interceptions, tackles and clearances.
Perak finally got a much needed victory thanks to Hassan Daher. The Lebanese defender produced a resilient display against Terengganu by making key interceptions and last-ditched tackles throughout the match.
While Luciano Figueroa stole the limelight against T-Team, Asraruddin Putra quietly did his job at the back for JDT. The former Selangor defender was rock solid in defence and helped in attack when needed.
Somebody give R. Surendran a speeding ticket! In Pahang’s game against Sime Darby, the speedster made K. Prabakaran, who by all means is not slow himself, look like a lawnmower as he terrorised his opponents with direct runs, grabbing a goal along the way.
For the second week in a row, Junior Eldstal continued his gladiator-like performance for Sarawak, which justified his recent national call-up. Besides mopping up any dangerous Kelantan breakaways, the young midfielder proved to be a handful with his physicality.
Following a red card to PKNS goalkeeper Zamir Selamat, Bruno Martelotto helped kick-start ATM’s dominance by displaying individual brilliance in the middle of the park and scoring the equaliser to swing the game in his team’s favour.
Indonesian star Andik Vermansyah showed why he is one of the hottest prospects in Southeast Asia as he ran rings around the LionsXII defence. The 22-year-old was also responsible for Selangor’s winning goal as his corner was met by Paulo Rangel, who set up Steve Pantelidis to head it home.
The form book suggested that Sime Darby should comfortably beat Pahang – despite being the league leaders – but Dickson Nwakaeme was having none of it. After missing a couple of good chances against the LionsXII last week, the Nigerian locomotive unleashed his frustration as he was involved in all goals for Pahang in their 4-1 win over Sime Darby.
Despite all the recent off-the-pitch distractions, which included Baihakki Khaizan’s demotion to JDT II, Luciano Figueroa gave JDT fans something to cheer about with his double against T-Team to grab all three points. Just like a fine wine, the 32-year-old is slowly maturing into a top forward for JDT.