Malaysia’s 2-0 defeat at Hong Kong was compounded by the fact they played with no strikers, something Nelo Vingada lamented, after Shahrel Fikri & Hazwan Bakri were ruled out with injury and Darren Lok was only fit enough for the bench, although he did came on after half-time.
To prevent something like this from happening again, here is a list of strikers Vingada can take a look for the next international break and beyond:
1. Abdul Malik Mat Ariff (Kuantan FA)
In the Premier League, Shahrel’s goals made PKNP surprising genuine contenders for Super League promotion until the very end, having recently been promoted from the FAM League.
For Abdul Malik, his goals prevented Kuantan FA from being in a far worse situation than they already are. While his primary position is a winger, he is also able to play as a forward. His finishing earned him 14 goals in the league this season. Without them, Kuantan would have surely been relegated to the 3rd tier by now.
2. Fauzi Roslan (Melaka United)
Another winger/forward player. Primarily playing as the left-winger to accommodate Marko Simic, he can be counted upon as a center-forward to cause chaos in the attacking line.
The former Pahang player is known for his agility and strength to keep the ball at all costs along with his swift movement inside the box, something Malaysia were severely lacking against Hong Kong the other night.
3. N. Thanabalan (FELCRA)
Vingada said Thanabalan isn’t ready for the big stage just yet. But his performances during the SEA Games surely proves he has plenty to offer in his tank.
Granted, he’s also another winger. But being the goal poacher he is, he can be at the right place and at the right time to anticipate where the ball might wind up in the opponent’s box and in most times, you can count on him to bury those balls in the back of the net.
4. Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (FELDA United)
If Norshahrul is having a good day, he will dazzle on the pitch. He has a tendency to cause so much grief to the opponent’s backline and once he is in a good position, he is capable of finding the back of the net. Having played for the national team for years, he knows how to deal with the pressure that comes with donning the national kit.
However, some times he can be a little sluggish and uninspiring. But if he is handled right, he can repay the coach’s faith by performing brilliantly on the pitch.
5. Rozaimie Abdul Rahman (JDT II)
The wildcard in this list. Rozaimie had a scintillating record when he played for the U23 squad a few years back, scoring 15 goals in 15 games. Now with JDT II, he has been coasting and struggling to repeat the heroic form he had for Sabah and the U23 team between 2011 and 2015.
But if given the proper chance, he can perhaps be the solution Malaysia needs and recapture the form that made him one of the best young players in Malaysia at one point.