Beto ready to play anywhere to help Perak into final

Comments()
The Perak midfielder was excellent against JDT on Sunday, in what was only his fourth full match of the season.

2017 hasn't been a lucky year for Perak's Ahmad Khairil Anuar. More commonly referred to as 'Beto', the midfielder was part of the national under-23 team preparing for the AFC Under-23 qualifiers as well as the KL SEA Games but injuries curtailed his hopes to participate in both competition.

However, when life closes one door, it opens another. And Beto now has a real chance to stake a claim for more playing time with his club side, Perak. The semi-final first leg between Perak and Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) last Sunday was only the fourth time this season that he has completed a full 90 minutes on the pitch.

Having overcome the disappointment of missing out on national duties, Beto is making up for loss time. Ironically, it was injuries to fellow midfielder in Leandro Dos Santos and Hafiz Kamal that has opened up the door for Beto to be given a place in the starting XI by coach Mehmet Durakovic.

Grabbing the opportunity with both hands, Beto isn't the slightest bit perturbed that it comes in a wider role, although he is predominantly a central midfielder. Lining up on the left against JDT, Beto provided Nazirul Naim with sufficient protection against the threat that is Gabriel Guerra - S. Kunanlan combination.

"Before, I have also played on the left. It's not a big problem for me to play there. I'm not too concerned where I'm put in midfield, as long as I can help the team to win," Beto told Goal.

Perak put up a spirited fight against the mighty JDT, even though the team from Ipoh were missing key individuals in midfield and in attack. The Bos Gaurus went toe to toe with JDT in the first half that enabled them to get the opening goal of the match.

The magnificent took its toll on the team and JDT restored parity in the second half, which keeps the tie intriguing going into the second leg. Beto himself paid tribute to the thousands of home fans that flooded the stadium and how it became a big factor in how Perak started the match.

"In the first half, we were quite motivated because we were playing at home, in front of a full house. We didn't want to disappoint the fans that turned up. In the second half, we had some mistakes and had Thiago's nose bleeding problem. He was going in and out of the pitch, and one of those times that he went out, we conceded."

"We did all we can but luck wasn't on our side. We need to avoid all those small mistakes in Larkin. We'll prepare well and then see what happens in the second leg," added Beto.

If Perak are to advance to the final of the Malaysia Cup for the first time since 2007, Beto and co will have to do one better than their last two visits to Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium where they drew one and lost the other.

Next article:
Icardi happy at Inter, wants contract renewal
Next article:
Why Chelsea can’t take Man Utd lightly – Giggs
Next article:
Ask 32,000 Gibraltarians if the Nations League is meaningless - Styche
Next article:
Know your enemy: The Philippines Azkals
Next article:
More touches, more chances, more freedom: Sarri showing Mourinho how to get the best out of Hazard
Close