Malaysia Cup: Safuwan ready to play striker

Malaysia Cup: Safuwan ready to play striker

Play as a striker from the start? No problem.

After his spectacular winner in the 2-1 win over Perak in the Malaysia Cup last Saturday, LionsXII defender Safuwan Baharudin told The New Paper he would love to have a go at leading his team's attack.

The 21-year-old was sent forward with time ticking and the team desperately needing a winner, and showed remarkable skill and composure in the 86th minute to control a long punt before lofting the ball past hapless Perak goalkeeper Farizal Marlias and into goal.

Safuwan reckons he can have the same impact starting off as a forward. "I would like to have a full 90 minutes as a striker, definitely," said the centrehalf on Sunday.

"In training, I always enjoy myself during attacking drills and I'm always comfortable with the ball.

"I know there are other aspects for the coach to consider too, like the fact that there are players who are natural in attacking positions available.

"But if I am given the opportunity to play up front, I will definitely give my all." Safuwan, who played as a midfielder in his youth and as a striker when he represented his ITE school team, is the LionsXII's only goalscorer in the Malaysia Cup with two goals. His other goal in the Malaysia Cup came in the 2-1 loss to Sarawak - again after he was moved up by coach V Sundramoorthy in the closing stages of the match.

The wiry youngster has chipped in with important goals for the LionsXII against Terengganu and Johor Darul Takzim en route to their Malaysian Super League triumph last in July, and for the national Under-23s in a friendly win over the Philippines in June.

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