Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) are on course to clinch their fourth consecutive Super League title and on Tuesday kicked off their Malaysia Cup in style with a 4-0 thrashing over a plucky Sarawak side. In the past three title-winning campaigns, JDT have been able to count on the goal scoring prowess of their import forwards and it is no different this season.
From Luciano Figueroa between 2014 to 2015 and the duo of Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Martin Lucero in 2016, there has always been a stalwart up for the Southern Tigers. While Mohammed Ghaddar has plundered in plenty of goals but most of them thus far has been for Kelantan, the mantle has fallen on the shoulders of one Gabriel Guerra.
Promoted to the Super League side from Johor Darul Ta'zim II early in the season, Guerra has assumed the creative burden not only in terms of creating chances but also to find the back of the net - to which he has succeeded in doing 17 times thus far this season.
That is already six better than 2013 top scorer Norhahrul Idlan managed and he's closing in on what Figueora managed in 2014 (22 goals) and 2015 (18 goals). Though Guerra is still a fair distance behind what Diaz (32 goals) and Lucero (27 goals) achieved in 2016.
"There are no secrets to how I produce an energetic performance every game. I just train every day and follow instructions from the coach. JDT have many great players, so it is easy for me to adapt in every game," said Guerra to the club's official Facebook page.
With potentially 18 more matches to go, should JDT reach the Malaysia Cup final - Guerra would no doubt be able to bridge the gap to Diaz and Lucero, if not to overtake them. On Tuesday, Guerra added two more to his tally in helping JDT off to a great start in the cup competition.
The inclusion of former Levante midfielder, Natxo Insa for the second part of the 2017 season also gives JDT a greater option in midfield which allows Guerra to be pushed further ahead into one of the three forward positions. The 24-year-old Guerra excited at the prospect of building up a partnership with Insa.
"As for Natxo Insa, to me he's a really good player," he added.
Facing Premier League side Terengganu in their next Malaysia Cup match on Friday, Guerra will have another chance to increase his goals tally and judging on current form, no one would bet against him doing so.