Lions in Malaysia: Safuwan scores magical free-kick; Faris becomes a dad

Timothy Wee Timothy Wee

FOX Sports Asia brings you a weekly watch on what the stars of Singapore football Shahdan Sulaiman, Faris Ramli, Safuwan Baharudin and Hariss Harun are up to both on and off the pitch in Malaysia.

Shahdan Sulaiman – Melaka United

Photos sourced from Melaka United Facebook

Melaka United slipped out of the Malaysia CupΒ last Saturday after a 2-1 defeat to PKNS FC.

At the Shah Alam Stadium, the Sang Kancil, who started with midfielder Shahdan Sulaiman, conceded the Red Ants’ opener early on in the 23rd minute when Colombian Romel Morales struck.

After the break, Melaka pressed hard and managed to force an equaliser with midfielder Syahrul Azwari netting at the 53rd-minute mark. But it was ultimately PKNS who had the final say after Brazilian forward Rafael Ramazotti ensured his team progress on along with Group B leaders Felda United.

The Sang Kancil have one more cup match left against Felda United next Saturday and sit third in their group with six points.

Following his team elimination, Singapore international Shahdan thanked his club staff, fans and teammates on Instagram before heading back home for his country’s international fixtures.

30-year-old Shahdan, who has been called up for national coach Fandi Ahmad’s first ever Singapore squad, is battling for a place in the Lions’ Starting XI to face Mauritius this coming Friday, September 7 and Fiji next Tuesday, September 11. Both friendlies will be played at the Bishan Stadium.

Faris Ramli – PKNS FC

Photos sourced from PKNS Facebook & Faris Instagram

PKNS FC kept their cup dreams alive after coming out tops over Melaka United in Group B.

Singaporean forward Faris Ramli returned to the fold for the Red Ants and played his part in the 2-1 win which sent them up to second in their group.

PKNS, who have 10 points so far, take on last-placed PDRM FA in their last group game before moving on to the quarter-finals.

26-year-old Faris, who just became a dad, welcomed a baby boy with his partner whom he married last April. He was joined by family and close footballing pals Irfan Fandi, Farhan Rahmat and Ali Hudzaifi at the hospital.

The Singapore international has missed two days of training with the national side already after being given time off by coach Fandi Ahmad.

After thanking his national team colleagues for their support, Faris went on to tell FOX Sports Asia that he is ready to rejoin the squad and his desire “to score a goal and cap off the best week of my life”.

Safuwan Baharudin – Pahang FA

Photos sourced from Safuwan Instagram

Pahang FA sealed their Malaysia Cup quarter-finals berth last Saturday despite going down 3-1 to Selangor FA.

At the Darul Makmur Stadium, defensive midfielder Safuwan Baharudin scored from a well-taken free-kick, placing his shot in the top right-hand corner of the Red Giants goal in the 31st minute. The stunner brought Pahang back on level terms after Spaniard Rufino Segovia found the back of the net seven minutes into the match.

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But the Elephants fightback never materialised as Selangor put their recent troubles behind them to increase their advantage courtesy of defender Willian Pacheco in the second period. Midfielder Sarkunan buried in a third for good measure in the dying moments of the match with the Red Giants out of contention for the quarter-finals.

Pahang currently sit in second in Group D with eight points. They play group leaders Sabah FA next on Sunday, September 16.

Aside from the Selangor game, Singapore international Safuwan also experienced a different type of loss this week. The Elephants number 21 sent his eldest son to pre-school for the first time EVER!

However, 26-year-old Safuwan had no time to dwell as he reported for national team duties. The 2012 Suzuki Cup winner, who had been troubled by a knee injury sustained against PKNP FC, seemed fighting fit in Monday’s training session when former Singapore boss Barry Whitbread dropped by.

Hariss Harun – Johor Darul Ta’zim FC

Photos sourced from JDT Facebook & Hariss Instagram

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) FC still have an outside chance of qualifying for the cup quarter-finals after suffering defeat at the hands of Kedah FA.

In the Group C match at the Darul Aman Stadium, the Red Eagles’ Sandro Da Silva fired home in the fifth minute to get things underway, only for Argentine striker Fernando Marquez to rescue the Southern Tigers in the 36th minute – scoring in back-to-back cup fixtures!

Kedah furthered their advantage with more goals in the second period with both Akhyar Rashid and Liridon Krasniqi netting to give their team a 3-1 win.

JDT take on Group C leaders MISC-MIFA in their last Malaysia Cup group match and are in third with six points. They trail the group toppers by two points.

The Southern Tigers once again struggled with midfielder Hariss Harun missing out on the starting lineup as their number 14 was also noticeably absent from the matchday squad.

The Singapore international, who is currently back home for national team duties, begun training with new player mentor Noh Alam Shah at the Geylang field on Monday.

Former Tampines Rover striker Alam Shah, who has no prior football coaching or management experience, led a Singapore Selection side to a 3-2 win over the Selangor Selection in the 2017 Sultan of Selangor Cup.

 

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