Puskas-worthy strike makes Akmal centre of attention

Stunner: Kedah’s Akmal Mohd Zahir (left) scores a goal from 30m out against Kuching City.

PETALING JAYA: Kedah centreback Akmal Mohd Zahir has become an unlikely star for the Canaries after he scored a screamer in their 3-0 Super League win over Kuching City at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar on Friday.

The spectacular strike from 30m has set tongues wagging on social media, with many hailing it as a potential Puskas award nominee.

The attention and acclaim are not something that the 29-year-old Akmal is used to, as he is more focused on his less glamorous role of trying to stop the opposition from scoring.

And while he tries to savour the cheers that his long-range stunner has drawn, he hopes that his breakthrough goal will also inspire other players who aren’t attackers to get their names on the scoresheet.

“Scoring such a goal is a wonderful experience, and it hasn’t quite sink in for me. I like to think that after this, any player in the team can score if they get a chance to have a crack at goal,’’ said Akmal.

‘’It was an opportunity that came my way and I took it. I hit a volley and saw the ball spinning and swerving, and I waited to see if it would go in. So I was thrilled that it did.’’

Akmal, however, was quick to remind his teammates not to get too comfortable with the win as the Super League takes a break for the international action.

“The league is still long, and there are many more challenges ahead,’’ said the former Melaka player.

Kedah will visit Pahang when the league action resumes on April 1.

The Canaries are third in the standings with 12 points after five matches, where they won four and lost one.

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