Still safety first for Safuwan

Still safety first for Safuwan
Safuwan Baharudin beating the Perak defence to lift the ball over goalkeeper Farizal Marlias for the LionsXII’s winning goal.

Some football teams believe the best form of defence is to attack. For the LionsXII, however, their best form of attack so far in the Malaysia Cup has been to rely on one of their best defenders.

Centre-back Safuwan Baharudin has been the Malaysian Super League (MSL) champions surprise goal-getter, netting twice in their last three Cup matches as a makeshift striker when the LionsXII needed goals.

While his first was a consolation goal in the 1-2 away defeat by Sarawak, his second - an exquisitely-lobbed winner in Saturday's 2-1 win over Perak - has kept his struggling team alive in the competition.

The LionsXII are third in Group D on four points, three behind co-leaders Sarawak and Perak with two group games to play against Sarawak and Kedah.

With captain and leading scorer Shahril Ishak injured, coach V. Sundramoorthy might be tempted to give Safuwan a permanent spot at the opposite end of the pitch.

But Sundram believes the 21-year-old's future still lies in the heart of the defence.

"His best position is still at centre-back. I will only play him up front when I need him," he said

"But when need be, I will always call on Safuwan to get up front to get us a goal."

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