LionsXII defender Madhu Mohana will have more than one reason to smile this weekend.
The 22-year-old celebrated his senior national team call-up in the best possible way after scoring his first-ever goal for the club against ATM FA in the first leg quarter-final of the Malaysia Cup.
Madhu’s goal proved the only difference of the game as the LionsXII beat ATM 1-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.
“It’s good that I got a goal, it boosts my confidence,” Madhu said after the game.
However, he was more pleased about the positive result for the team.
“We could’ve scored quite a bit more, but it’s a win still. At this stage we are still okay at 1-0, which is better than last year where we drew [ATM FA] 1-1. So it’s good.”
The game against ATM was Madhu’s third consecutive start of the tournament and according to LionsXII coach V. Sundramoorthy, it was a reward for his encouraging performances, especially in the recent Merdeka Tournament.
“Madhu came on strongly the past couple of weeks,” Sundram said.
“[During] the Merdeka tournament, he was the best player and now he’s scored a great goal.”
Madhu also agreed with Sundram, saying that the Merdeka Tournament was a good platform for him to get some playing time and to build his confidence.
“I think the Merdeka Cup was a good opportunity for me to get to play,” Madhu explained.
“I had four games and I gained back my confidence because I haven’t been playing the whole season, and to get a chance to play at the Malaysia Cup is quite a big thing for me so I’m glad I got the opportunity.”