Kelantan drop Norshahrul for first leg match against Arbil

Malaysian champions have decided against taking national striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha to Iraq following his poor form of late

Malaysian international forward, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha will not be in Kelantan’s travelling party to Iraq for their AFC Cup quarter-final match against SC Arbil.

The Red Warriors have sensationally chosen not to include their off-form striker in their squad for the first leg tie against the Iraqi champions after he failed to improve on his below-par showings in the Malaysia Cup.

Azman Ibrahim, Kelantan’s team manager, said that the decision was made in the best interest of the player.

“He is under tremendous pressure to score and the management committee felt that he needs a break from the game. We fear he may suffer from burnout. Although we need all our best men for the game against Arbil SC, we have no choice but to leave him out,” Azman told The Star.

The 26-year-old Norshahrul has only managed to score one goal for the Malaysian Super League (MSL) winners so far in the Malaysia Cup.

Kelantan, who are scheduled to leave for Iraq today, are already weakened by the absence four key players for this fixture. Injured trio Muhammad Ghaddar, S.Subramaniam and Rizal Fahmi will join the suspended Obinna Nwaneri in missing the trip.