Versatile Syafiq shows he can be a lethal weapon for JDT and Malaysia


PETALING JAYA: Johor Darul Ta’zim’s (JDT) Syafiq Ahmad is beginning to carve out a reputation as a deadly striker.

The 24-year-old Penangite scored a brace (37th, 60th) to sink Petaling Jaya City 3-2 in their Malaysia Cup Group B match at the Petaling Jaya Stadium on Friday.

Safawi Rasid was the other scorer for the Super League champions when he curled in a sumptuous free-kick in the 24th minute.

PJ City replied through Bae Beom-geun (10th) and Washington Brandao (58th).

The win also saw them move into the quarter-finals. They are top of the group with 13 points while PJ City are second with nine.

Syafiq has also been on target with the national team in the second round of the 2022 World Cup-2023 Asian Cup Group G qualifying matches last week, scoring against the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.

With four goals in his last three matches, the former Kedah player is looking to build on that momentum to cement his place in JDT’s starting line-up.

“Alhamdulillah (All praise to God), I got to score again. In any position the coach (Benjamin Mora) puts me in, I will do my best and make sure I contribute to the team’s success,” he said.

“People know me as a versatile player as I’m comfortable as a midfielder, winger, playmaker or striker.

“Now that I’ve been scoring lately, many would want me to start as a striker but I’m game for any position.

“I know how important game time is. The more we play, the better we can be.

“Also, the momentum will not fade away. I will fight every day in training to keep my spot in the club and also in the national team.”

Mora admitted that he will have a headache when striker Diogo Santo returns from a back injury.

“’It’s a good problem to have. Diogo was rested because he had a contusion in his lower back.

“He will return to training in a day or two.

“It was a hard-fought win. We had the national players back and they produced an excellent performance.

“PJ City are getting stronger and they worked really hard.

“They’ve good foreign players and made things complicated for us but we managed to overcome it and got a good win.”
   

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