Shahrel on the right track to win Golden Boot award

PETALING JAYA: The player known as the Lionheart has now become a hitman.

Perak striker Shahrel Fikri Md Fauzi, who was diagnosed with a hole in his heart six years ago, is now the Super League’s top scorer with nine goals.

Shahrel was on target four times (17th, 47th, 69th and 86th) to help Perak thrash Felda United 5-1 at the Perak Stadium on Friday.

Guilherme De Paula (53rd) was the other scorer for the Seladang while Felda’s lone goal came through Nicolas Velez (62nd).

Since the league resumed on Aug 28, “Eky” has scored six goals from five matches. Before the league was suspended on March 16, he bagged three goals in four games.

Thanks to his exploits, Perak are now second in the 12-team standings with 17 points.

The last local player to win the top flight Golden Boot was Terengganu’s Abdul Hadi Yahya who fired in 20 goals in the 2011 season and the following eight seasons saw the domination of foreigners.

This season, in second spot is Terengganu’s Mauritanian striker Dominique Da Sylva with seven goals and Ivory Coast’s Tchetche Kipre of Kedah with six goals.

“I’m very, very satisfied with my performance against Felda. The team too gave 100% commitment and showed great discipline

“My mindset before the game was to win and give my best. Whether I score or not, I was focused on getting the three points. I have to thank De Paula, Kancil (Hafiz Ramdan) and Nazirul Naim for their assists.”

After their 7-0 humiliating defeat to Johor Darul Ta’zim on Sept 4, Shahrel was one of the first players to apologise on social media and admitted that their meltdown was one of the lowest point in his career.

“JDT are a class of their own. I told myself after that game that I have to do something to help the team bounce back,” said Shahrel, who hopes to hold on to their second spot and qualify for the AFC Cup.
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