By Kenneth Tan
Having recently returned from an injury lay-off, the 23-year-old is keen to make further impact in tonight’s big game at Shah Alam
Shah Alam,Selangor, 19 April 2014: It was a truly unforgettable night at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night as the LionsXII ruthlessly put four goals past Pahang FA.
Given that they had suffered a lowly defeat to Sime Darby FC just days ago while the visitors were on a six-match unbeaten run, it was a result not many expected.
Taken off the pitch after putting up a competent 80-odd minutes shift, Hafiz Sujad could not help but join in the celebrations towards the end despite sporting an ice-strapped left leg.
“Everyone was very happy that night including coach Fandi (Ahmad),” he told the official LionsXII website.
“Things haven’t been really going our way at home (before that) and we don’t usually score more than two goals. Also I just came back from a hamstring injury and thank God I was able to settle down quickly and run during the game.”
That emphatic result has put the LionsXII right back in contention for the race for the Malaysian Super League (MSL) title, now that they are just four points off the pace. Thus, Hafiz is keen to urge his teammates not to take their feet off the pedal.
“Each of us knows that the Pahang game is over,” he said.
“We have two more tough games coming up, first against Selangor FA away before taking on Johor Darul Ta’zim at home next month. There is a three-week break in between these two games, thus we should really focus and work hard before going for a well-deserved rest.”
So far it has not been the best of seasons for Hafiz who has to battle against a couple of injury problems, thus he is determined to step up in the upcoming games.
“Honestly I think I haven’t been up to mark in terms of performances,” admitted the former Courts Young Lions skipper.
“Before the season I told coach Fandi that I wanted to get four to five goals this season, but so far I only got one. I think I can still improve a lot and he has been giving me quite a bit of advice on that.”
Of course, beating Selangor away is never an easy task but Hafiz believes that he and his teammates have the ability to stifle the Red Giants.
“Selangor is definitely a good and experienced team,” said the 23-year-old who has played at Stadium Shah Alam on three previous occasions.
“Of course they have the technically skilful Paulo Rangel upfront, but I believe they can be beaten. We need to stay together as a team, show fighting spirit and follow the plan that coach Fandi has for us.”
This much-awaited game against Selangor will kick off at 8.45pm on Saturday, April 19th and fans can catch the game ‘LIVE’ via StarHub Channel 201 from 8.30pm onwards.
Do check back on the LionsXII’s website and Facebook page for the latest updates regarding the game. Go LionsXII Go!