BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Following his side's 4-2 win over T-Team in their Super League match on Saturday, Selangor boss Maniam Pachaiappan has singled out the Red Giants' young winger Syahmi Safari for their contributions to the victory.
The Malaysia U22 international opened and closed the Red Giants' scoring accounts, in the match that was held at the Selayang Municipal Council Stadium. The youngster, promoted to the senior team at the start of the season, has scored three goals already this season.
"I'm very happy with Syahmi, he's just 19-years old but his contribution was superb.
"We were effective on the right wing, his crossing was dangerous and he scored two goals," praised the former Selangor player in the post-match press conference.
However, what is important to Maniam is the following matches, and he told the press that he wants the youngster to concentrate on the future instead.
"He needs to forget this game and focus on the next one. That's most important for him, as a player," he pointed out.
When asked for his thoughts on the imminent departure of Syahmi to Malaysia U22, as well as that of utility man Adam Nor Azlin, as the Young Tigers prepare to take part in the 2018 U23 AFC Championship qualifiers in Bangkok later this month, Maniam responded that he has no problem releasing them, as he feels that they deserve to feature for the junior national team.
"Of course Adam and Syahmi have been playing in the first eleven (for Selangor), so their departure will definitely impact us. But it's for national team duty and we have to let them go, and I think they also deserve to play for the national team.
"At the same time we have other options such as Nama (20-year old winger Arunasalam Namathevan). He's not mature enough to play at the same level as Syahmi, but if given the chance I think he will improve," Maniam explained.
Against T-Team, Syahmi opened the scoring in the 53rd minute, before Forkey Doe doubled the hosts' lead just two minutes later. Dilshod Sharofetdinov pulled one back for T-Team in the 72nd minute, but the Red Giants pulled away through Rufino Segovia's first competitive goal for them in the 82nd minute, and Syahmi's second three minutes later. Yannick N'Djeng scored his first for the Titans and their second of the night in the 88th minute.