Selangor's Paulo Rangel (left) celebrates after scoring his second goal in the Super League match against Sime Darby. Selangor won 2-1.
PETALING JAYA: Selangor coach Mehmet Durakovic has rubbished claims that the Red Giants depend solely on striker Paulo Rangel for goals.
On Saturday, the towering Brazilian struck a brace to complete a 2-1 comeback win over Sime Darby in a Super League match at the Selayang Stadium.
The brace propelled him to the top of the goalscorers’ chart with five goals from four matches and the Red Giants top the standings with nine points.
The other strikers in Selangor are Mohd Afiq Azmi, Abdul Hadi Yahya and national Under-23 strikers Ahmad Hazwan Bakri and A. Thamil Arasu – but the quartet have yet to break their duck.
Durakovic said the 29-year-old Rangel is among 11 who are currently playing well for the team and he has other capable strikers if Rangel hits a lean patch.
The former Selangor legend also cautioned against losing focus during matches after his team were stunned by Mohd Failee Mohd Ghazli’s fist-minute goal for Sime Darby.
“Rangel played well but that doesn’t mean we are relying on him for the goals,” said Durakovic in the post-match press conference.
“If he doesn’t perform, he will be replaced and we have other quality strikers on the team. He’s doing well for the team so I have to keep playing him.
“The team went to sleep and we conceded an early goal. We can’t repeat this mistake ... in football you will be punished if you can’t concentrate for 90 minutes.”
Meanwhile, Sime Darby coach Ismail Zakaria conceded that his team put up a good fight but were beaten by a better team.
Ismail added that playing without three imports – striker Wisdom Agblexo, midfielder Mahmoud Amnah and defender William Mensah – who were not fully fit, left his team weakened.
Ismail added his Harimau Muda A bound striker Mohd Nazrul Kamaruzaman should have scored the team’s second goal but was let down by his inexperience.
“We lost to a better team, Selangor had quality players and they showed what they can do playing on a better pitch,” said Ismail.
“We only had Dilshod Sharofetdinov for this match because the other import players were not fully fit. I have to give credit to the players, they worked hard.
“I’m happy with my players’ performance and I believe the team will do better when the foreign players return.”