Safuwan Baharudin: Malaysia FA Cup win is for the Pahang fans
The 26-year-old star who joined Pahang FA from PDRM FA at the start of the season has been a mainstay in Dollah Salleh’s starting lineup, with a total of 21 appearances and three goals.
He played a key role in helping Pahang seal a 2-0 victory over Selangor FA in the Malaysia FA Cup final on Saturday. A 23rd minute goal from Nor Azam bin Azih gave the Elephants the lead before Patrick Cruz added a second from the spot in the 62nd minute.
Selangor failed to make headway in attack due to Pahang’s stout defensive line along with a midfield that stopped the Red Giants’ supply line to star striker Rufino Segovia.
Safuwan revealed that coach Dollah had a game plan to stop the supply chain and restrict Selangor to trying their luck from distance.
“It was a big pressure to win my first trophy with Pahang and it will never get any easier,” Safuwan told FOX Sports Asia.
“Things started out well in this game for us. Our midfield had a job to do and coach made it clear that we needed to watch out for a couple of their key players before they made their way into the box.
“ It also helped that we started gaining momentum in the last few games before the final and it all came together nicely.”
Having won the FA Cup back in 2015 with the LionsXII to go with his Malaysia Super League winners’ medal in 2013, Safuwan reckons this trophy is the biggest to date in his club career.
He said: “This is my biggest achievement in club football as of now. To be in one of the best state teams in Malaysian football, to be playing in the FA Cup final, and winning the trophy for the Pahang fans, nothing can compare to that.
“I came to Pahang knowing that there will be pressure because this club is used to being at the top and it was a challenge I wanted. To win this trophy is a good start but I am here for the long term and hopefully, we can push on and win even more silverware for the club, the fans and make everyone proud.”
Safuwan will now turn his attention back to Malaysia Super League duties as Pahang welcome PKNP FC on Wednesday with a chance to move into second place if they manage to secure victory.
Photo credit: Pahang FA Facebook