By Ng Jun Xian, Owen Tan & Sugumaran Devaraja | Goal.com Singapore
In the final part of the LionsXll mid-season review, Goal.com Singapore’s Ng Jun Xian, Owen Tan and Sugumaran Devaraja take a look at the strikers of the LionsXll and their performance so far. We wish the LionsXII the very best for their remaining fixtures!
|The LionsXII Strikers
|Also known as... The Finisher
Agu made his name when he scored 27 goals in his debut season for Woodlands Wellington as a 18 years old ten years ago in 2002.
Since then, the striker went on to be one of the deadliest strikers in Singapore and he took up the Singapore citizenship in 2004. Before joining the Lions, he played for Persija Jakarta in Indonesia and scored nine goals in twenty-one games.
He was the first-choice striker of the team but ‘enjoyed’ a Fernando Torres journey as he struggled for form and was also hampered by injuries problem.
But the striker eventually found his scoring boots and interestingly, just like Torres, after a lengthy period of 500 over minutes, he scored and notched a brace in the previous match against PKNS, which the team won 5-0.
The twenty-eight years old also went on and scored a hat trick against the First Xl [a team formed in a Singapore reality television show with the same title] and also got another two goals in the friendly last Saturday against Johor FA, where LionsXll walked away with a 4-3 victory.
With him finally his form, the Lions can definitely bank on him to bring home more goals during the second half of the season.
|Also known as... The Able Deputy
As a second choice striker of the team, coach V Sundramoothy gave Sufian a start during the match against Negeri Sembilian and this proved to be the Dazzler’s masterstroke.
The 24-year-old went on to make an important contribution in the team’s 3-1 win and since then, the Lions have gone on a superb run, which has sent them to the top of the league.
A hardworking striker who chases the ball and uses his off-the-ball movement intelligently during the match, Sufian seems to be the missing puzzle in Sundram’s lineup. His previous experience with Shahril and Shahdan at Home United was one of the reasons why the trio have combined so well during matches to create chances.
One thing Sufian needs to work on is his finishing as he often squanders good goal-scoring opportunities during matches. At the end of the day, a striker is defined by his goals so he would really need to be more consistent in bagging goals in the second half of the season.
With the Lions raring to the win the title, Sufian would definitely play a big part, as he is really good at assisting goals and also diverting the opposing team’s attention.
|Also known as... The Dancing Forward
One of the youngest players in the team, Nizam was given a vote of confidence by Sundram when he decided to field him in the away match against Negeri Sembilan last month, but he repaid him in the best way by scoring a goal and putting in a superb performance in that match.
He went on to score the only goal in the following match against Johor FA, in which the Lions walked away with a 1-0 win at the Pasir Gudang Corporation stadium.
Nizam is also a entertainer with his goal-scoring celebrations as he transforms from striker to dancer, complementing his silky footballing skills with superb dance moves.
Standing at only 1.78m tall, the forward is exceptionally strong in the air and also boasts a strong physique, which he demonstrated when he held off four players before scoring the goal against Johor.
Technically, the striker is also good in terms of his skills and awareness and one thing he needs now is more playing time. But with Sufian and Agu back in the team now, he might once again have to spend time on the bench.
But the youngster looks set to have a bright future - and his development might impress Sundram enough to give him more opportunities in the first team to shine.