IPOH: Honeymoon for Perak’s newly-wed attacking midfielder Indra Putra Mahayuddin will have to wait.
There are more important things at hand and they are in the Premier I match against fellow front-runners Kedah at Perak Stadium here today. It is a match between two champions. Perak won Premier I last year while Kedah gained promotion to the top flight as Premier II winners.
Indra married Norliaton Murni Zainal Abidin on Saturday and missed the home match against Pahang. His absence was sorely felt as the Seladangs struggled to snatch a 2-2 draw.
Without Indra and the non-availability of skipper Ahmad Shahrul Azhar, Yusri Che Lah and Ahmad Norafandy Mohd Yatim because of injuries, the Perak midfield was in total disarray.
Perak can consider themselves lucky to escape defeat. The equaliser came just six minutes from time.
For tonight’s match against Kedah, Shahrul, Yusri and Norafandy are still doubtful starters. To compound the problem, striker V. Saravanan has joined the team’s long list of injured players.
Said Indra yesterday: “My coach (Toni Netto) can count on me to play the match against Kedah. I am available for selection.
“I want to help Perak win the match, which will be another wedding gift for my wife. Better still if I can get among the scorers.”
Indra, who has yet to score a goal this season, was in training yesterday.
He agreed that he has been playing below par since the start of the season and apparently he has been distracted by his preparations to get married.
Meanwhile, Brazilian striker Falvio Galvao, who made a memorable debut by pulling a goal back in the draw against Pahang, is ready to strike it right again tonight to show that his effort on Saturday was no flash in the pan.
Netto is expected to field Galvao in an attacking partnership with Khalid Jamlus in his starting line-up now that Saravanan is a doubtful starter.
Perak are now in second place in the 13-team league with 12 points from six matches – one point behind Perlis.
Kedah are in third place with 10 points but they have played one match fewer.