Player Ratings: Selangor vs Melaka United

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Five goals were produced when the Red Giants hosted the Mousedeers on Wednesday. Who performed and who was man of the match? Find out here.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


SELANGOR

Norazlan Razali - 8

The custodian could look jittery at times, but ultimately Norazlan proved a steady pair of hands. Made multiple brilliant saves in the second half to protect the Red Giants' lead.

Norazlan Razali, Selangor, 15072017

Norazlan. Photo from Kedah FA

Fairuz Aziz - 7

The left back was dependable, kept it simple and stayed in his defensive area throughout the 90 minutes.

Willian Pacheco - 8

The Brazilian centreback again thwarted most aerial deliveries into the Selangor penalty area, and kept the visitors' forwards from approaching the danger area with the ball.

Razman Roslan - 7

Calm and collected, the Selangor captain combined well with Pacheco and Fairuz in defence to keep the opponents out. He rarely ventured out to assist in attack, but when he did his experience ensured that it was unexpected and devastating. The Red Giants' first goal came from his assist, a long pass from deep down the right that Rufino anticipated well and put away.

Kannan Kalaiselvan - 6

Did get slightly overshadowed in the match, but that is only because almost all of his teammates performed splendidly in the match. However, the wingback's main strength is only apparent towards the end. As weariness crept in on both sides, Kannan and his counterpart on the left Kugan were still flying down the flanks, just tormenting the Melaka defence and putting a stop to any plans for a comeback.

Evan Dimas Darmono - 7

Had a bright start in the first half, proving himself a threat to the Melaka defence with his dribbling, but dropped off somewhat in the second. However, he reminded what he is capable of at the very end of the match, providing the assist to Syahmi Safari's second goal of the night. Twice he came close to scoring in the match; one off-target and another blocked by the goalkeeper, and you get the feeling that the Indonesia U23 star may finally find the back of the net for Selangor in his next match.

Alfonso de la Cruz - 6

The Spaniard centre-back-cum-defensive-midfielder still has not impressed, following his debut against Kuala Lumpur last Sunday. A foreign midfielder such as him should be able to provide more mobility and cover a bigger area, while the only Melaka goal, a splendid freekick by Tiago Gomes from outside the Selangor box, was awarded following Alfonso's foul.

Kugan Dhevarajan - 6

As weariness crept in on both sides, tireless right wingback Kugan and his counterpart on the left Kannan were still flying down the flanks, just tormenting the Melaka defence and putting a stop to any plans for a comeback. 

Amri Yahyah - 6

When the veteran player came on as a halftime substitution against Kuala Lumpur last Sunday, he introduced unpredictability into their gameplay. But playing as a starter in the forward position against Melaka on Wednesday, Amri could do nothing right. He rarely threatened the Mousedeers' danger area, and ended up with a booking in the first half that could have easily turned into a sending off in the second.

Rufino Segovia - 8

Two goals on Sunday, two more on Wednesday that almost turned to three. The Spaniard opened the scoring as early as the eighth minute, and almost helped his side retook the lead just before halftime, had he not missed from the spotkick. Thankfully, Syahmi Safari put them in front again in the second half, and Rufino was then be able to net his second and Selangor's third, with a powerful angled volley in the 67th minute. Apart from his poaching skills, he also showed that he is a team player by dropping down to pack the midfield, and at one point he even dropped down to the left back area in order to assist the defenders.

Syahmi Safari - 9 (Man of the Match)

Rufino had a good game to net a brace, but 20-year old winger Syahmi produced the sublime in order to outrank the Spaniard in the match. Playing in his first competitive match since October 2017, Syahmi too scored a brace against the visitors, but his goals came out of nothing, further proving that his footballing brain works just as hard as he does physically. His first goal came when the game was level in early second half, with Syahmi blocking a rushed clearance from goalkeeper Zamir Selamat before pouncing on the rebound in the penalty area. His second was bagged in the 90th minute, a difficult on-the-run shot from a tight angle.

Syahmi Safari, Selangor, Malaysia Super League, 07022018

Syahmi in the post-match press conference. Photo by Zulhilmi Zainal

Substitutions:

Tamil Maran Manimaran

Came on in the final 20 minutes as replacement for Fairuz, Tamil held the fort and helped shore up the defence.

Faizuddin Abidin

Late substitution, the youngster contributed in the short time he was on the pitch by nutmegging Gopinathan Ramachandra, to the delight of the home fans, and the frustration of Gopinathan who immediately retaliated with a foul.

Saiful Ridzuwan Selamat

Another late substitution, who came on for Amri in a change for a fresh pair of legs.


MELAKA UNITED

Zamir Selamat - 4

From hero to zero, that's Zamir in the match. Zamir went from saving a penalty in a crucial moment of the game, to conceding a costly blunder that snuffed out any hopes of turning around the game for his team. His poor clearance only led to Syahmi stealing the lead for Selangor, while his failure to cover his near post properly allowed the youngster to kill the game with Selangor's fourth goal of the night.

Khair Jones - 4

Three of Selangor's goals were scored from their right side of the pitch, and for two of them leftback Khair Jones was nowhere near the goalscorers shadowing them. And when he pushed up to assist in the attacking, the hosts' players on their right showed him how to defend, marking him out of the game.

Steven Thicot - 5

The French centre back failed to contain Selangor attackers, and did a worse job of marshalling and organising his defence.

Syawal Norsam - 4

The Mousedeers' defence was porous even without errors being committed, and when centre back Syawal made one, the consequence was devastating. His weak clearance in the 67th minute only went towards Rufino at the edge of Melaka's box, and the Spaniard did not even have to wait for the ball to drop onto the pitch to smash it home, for his second of the night, and Selangor's third.

Puaneswaran Gunasekaran - 5

The right back did not do as badly as the other defenders, but that distinction matters little when you're playing for the team shipping four goals in one night. Selangor's veteran player Amri was placed near the left, and the 34-year old should thank his lucky stars that he did not have to defend against the sprints of a younger and much fitter forward. 

Shahdan Sulaiman - 4

The Singaporean midfielder failed to capitalise on the fact that his counterpart on the opposing team was one of the weakest links, and he faded away from the action.

Surendran Ravindran - 5

The skipper had a forgettable night, with Selangor youngsters bossing the flanks and forcing him to keep his movements far from the touchlines. He was the first man to be taken off by head coach Eduardo Almeida, in a tactical substitution that was made right after the hosts scored their second of the night.

Tiago Gomes - 6

Hardly was present when the ball was in play, but he proved his prowess in dead ball situations with the freekick that flew just inches over the Selangor wall into the back of the net, in the 30th minute. However, the Portuguese midfielder did not produce the combination that was needed with Melaka's other attackers.

Jeon Woo-young - 5

The South Korean provided support for forward Yahor Zubovich and threatened the Selangor danger area a number of times, but the midfielder failed to feed Zubovich with the deliveries needed. Conceded a penalty just before halftime, which Rufino thankfully failed to put away.

Fakri Saarani - 5

Except for a few attempts to run into the box with the ball in the first half, the former Malaysia international did not contribute much. The question that must surely be asked by a lot of observers after the match is; why is the former Kedah and Kelantan player still playing in the top tier, when he had largely been a passenger for the clubs in the past few seasons?

Malaysia's Fakri Saraani during training on 22/11/16

Fakri. Photo by Asiana

Yahor Zubovich - 6

Came close to scoring multiple times in the match, only to be denied by Selangor goalkeeper Norazlan's fine reflexes. Should have dropped deeper occasionally in order to help out his midfielders, who were being shut out of the final third by the hosts' determined defence.

Substitutions:

Gopinathan Ramachandran - 6

The visitors looked a little bit more threatening when the former Pahang and Selangor star was introduced in the 57th minute, and registered at least one on-target shot. His runs down the right flank caused more concern for Selangor than what Surendran was able to provide, but there was not much he could do on a night that their defence was subpar.

Shamil Ghani

The former Melaka United loanee at Selangor came on late, and could not do much.

Farderin Kadir

Came on as a late substitution.

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