JOHOR BARU: Two straight home wins have rekindled Johor FC's hopes of a top-six finish in Premier I, a situation which would guarantee the club a place in the Super League next year. And it's largely thanks to their Australian hitman Jon Angelucci.
The lanky Aussie is on a hot streak and scored his 15th league goal when he hit a brace against high-riding Sarawak in Johor FC's 3-1 win at the Pasir Gudang Football Stadium on Tuesday. His total also puts him on top of the scorers list.
While pleased with his form and Johor FC's move to ninth place in the 13-team league, Angelucci believes the real test will come tomorrow when they play a late afternoon match against Kelantan in Kota Baru.
“If we can win against Kelantan, we have a good chance,” said Angelucci, who is also two goals short of equalling his personal best in a season – 17 goals – which he achieved in Australia.
“We have eight matches to go and if I can average a goal per match, it will give me 23 ... a good figure. If I achieve that, it will be a personal scoring record for me in a league.
“But that is far from my mind. My main focus is on helping Johor FC finish in the top six. I consider that more important than anything else. The Super League will belong to the elite and we want to be among the eight best teams in the country.”
Johor FC, who finished a creditable sixth in Premier I last year, have set themselves a high target of a top-three finish this season. However, despite having experienced players like ex-internationals Zami Mohd Noor, Rizal Sukiman, Idris Karim, Bakthiar Othman, Azmi Mohamad, Rezal Zambery Yahya and Tuan Kamree Tuan Yahya, Johor FC have struggled to find their footing.
The club, who also have the services of national trainees, goalkeeper Mohd Sani Fahmi and striker Eddy Helmi Manan have inched from 11th place to ninth after their last two wins.