Monday, February 10, 2003
Dwyer makes dream debutBY LOGANATH VELLOO
BATU KAWAN: Australian Geoff Dwyer could not have asked for a more dramatic introduction to the Malaysian football scene when he scored Penang's winner in the 1-0 win over Selangor in the 2003 Charity Shield at the State Stadium here last night.
The 25-year-old Sydney native was still in a daze after the match as the thousands of Penang fans chanted his name as he made his way into the dressing room.
An opportunistic strike in the 12th minute, when he was the quickest to a rebound just in front of the Selangor goalmouth, also ensured that the Panthers got all the three points as the match was counted as a league game.
“I had joked with the players before the match that I was going to win all three points for the team and I am very happy that it turned out that way,' said Dwyer.
“I dedicate the goal to my family back in Australia and also to the Penang fans who braved the rain to support us and give me a hero’s welcome,” said Dwyer.
PROUD PANTHERS: The victorious Penang players pose with the trophy after defeating Selangor 1-0 in the Charity Shield match at the State Stadium in Batu Kawan Sunday. - STARpic by Mustafa Ahmad
He said that the goal was possible due to the slippery pitch conditions.
“The moment I saw the ball rebound off a Selangor defender I knew that I had a chance to get to the ball by sliding in. I am happy that I managed to make contact first to send it into the net,” he said.
Dwyer also agreed that the FA Cup champions could have killed off the game rather than live on the edge for the rest of the match. “We had more chances to score but were not sharp enough to finish off the moves. However, we must build on this success and concentrate on coming out on top in all competitions we take part in this year.”
Despite starting the game as a central defender, Dwyer was moved to a defensive midfield position in the second half to protect the lead.
“I am equally comfortable in midfield so it was not a problem for me when the coach asked me to move upfield. The team displayed total commitment and I feel that I have made the right choice in joining Penang,” he said.