Saturday, February 19, 2011

Debutants give Warriors opening win

Debutant Fazrul Nawaz and Mislav Karoglan both score to give the Warriors an opening 2-0 win against the Courts Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
If the attackers had done their job so have the defence as the new centreback partnership of Bah Mamadou and Daniel Hammond, with Dainel Benett suspended, looked rock-solid throughout the ninety minutes.

That is why with Daniel Bennett coming back for the next game, Bok admitted picking his starting backline would be an interesting headache for him.

But in attack, the Croatian Karoglan looked like he will always be the first name there as he impressed greatly with only a goal but also his overall play.

Karoglan had a huge role to play in initiating the season first goal.

Finding himself surrounded by two defenders, some clever thinking saw the Croat’s reverse pass on the left flank find an opening for Japanese winger Taisuke Akiyoshi.

Akiyoshi promptly found himself an abundance of space to float in a beautiful cross into the middle for Fazrul, who produced a downward header that bounced off the ground and beyond the reach of Izwan Mahbud in the Young Lions goal.

The goal repaid Bok’s faith in starting the national team forward, who had been showing fine form in pre-season after moving from Gombak United in the off-season.

Fazrul was to reveal later that the goal was meant for his new-born as his wife gave birth to their second child only hours earlier before the game and he had only a few hours of sleep.

There was also why Frazul was taken off on the second period with the game looking safe.

Still, there was no escaping the game belong to Karoglan as he put the Warriors 2-0 up in eye-catching style.

Again it was the left flank that produced the goods, Akiyoshi’s reverse pass setting up Shaiful Esah on the byeline, and the back pulled back for Indra, who looked odds-on to score from six yards out.

Somehow a Young Lions defender showed the bravery to block the effort, but the loose ball fell to Karoglan, who produced an acrobatic overhead kick that sent the leather into the bottom right corner.

If the Croatian continue to play like this, the Warriors will surely be looking to extend his contract come June.

Courts Young Lions
Izwan Mahbud (GK), Afiq Yunos (C), Irwan Shah, Shakir Hamzah, Faritz Abdul Hameed (Al-Qaasimy Abdul Rahman), Zulfahmi Arifin (Fazli Ayob), Izzdin Shafiq, Raihan Abdul Rahman, Nazrul Ahmad Nazari, Shahfiq Ghani, Eugene Luo (Safirul Sulaiman)

Shahril Jantan (GK) (C), Shaiful Esah, Razaleigh Khalik, Bah Mamadou, Daniel Hammond, Rhysh Roshan Rai, Noh Rahman, Mustaqim Manzur (Ruzaini Zainal), Mislav Karoglan (Ivan Jerkovic), Fazrul Nawaz (Indra Sahdan), Taisuke Akiyoshi

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