Hitman's hattrick is like music to Sabah's ears

On song: Shello Silverius (third from left) celebrates a goal with his Sabah teammates. — Pic courtesy of MHC

KUALA LUMPUR: Striker Shello Silverius pulled off a masterclass by firing a hattrick to help Sabah thrash Johor 5-0 and advance into the quarter-finals of the Razak Cup.

Shello scored in the 25th, 28th and 41st minutes while the other two were bagged by Muhajir Abdul Rauf (32nd) and Mohamad Azfar Mustaming (58th) at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

The big win saw them finish second in Group B with four points from three matches.

Perak top the group with five points. Selangor are third with three points and basement team Johor have two points. Only the top-two teams advance to the knockout stage.

The 21-year-old said they were ready for the do-or-die mission after losing 2-0 to Perak in their penultimate match on Sunday.

“We had a good game plan for this game. We were mentally prepared and raring to go after losing against Perak. Everything just fell into place and we got a big win to seal our berth,” said the national junior team player.

“We hope to get into the semis ... that’s our KPI (Key Performance Index) although we are a young team. This team have vast potential, we are actually preparing for next year’s Johor Sukma.

“I think I played my best game today and I’m looking forward to push myself further .”

Ironically, Shello turned out for Johor with three other Sabahans to help the state finish as runners-up last year.

But this year, turning out for his state has been sweeter since Sabah are making a return after a four-year lapse.

“This is the second time I’m playing for Sabah. I last played for them in 2016, so I want to help Sabah go as far as possible,” he added.

“As I said, we are a young team and learning every day. I hope all this exposure can make us strong contenders in the future.”

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