Malaysians Abroad: Luqman etches name in history, Norshahrul and teammates lead standings

Luqman Hakim, Norshahrul Idlan, two-way split
KV Kortrijk, BG Pathum
Several Malaysian players were in action for their overseas club over the weekend, with one newcomer not needing long to make history.

Several Malaysian players were in action for their overseas club over the weekend, with one newcomer not needing long to make history.

In Thailand:

Malaysia forward Norshahrul Idlan Talaha came on for BG Pathum in their 3-2 away win over Sukhothai FC in Thai League 1 match. He replaced Siroch Chatthong in the 78th minute in the match that was held on Sunday, to help the Rabbits stay at the top of the with a six point-lead. It was his first ever appearance as a substitute for the club that he joined early in the season, with his three previous appearances this season coming as a starter.

Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, BG Pathum v Muangthong United, Thai League 1, 15 Feb 2020

Norshahrul Idlan. Photo from BG Pathum

But things were underwhelming for defender Dominic Tan and forward Mohamadou Sumareh, both at Police Tero. While the latter was not even on the bench for their match at home against Muangthong United also on Sunday, the former came on as a replacement at the hour mark, when the score was tied at 1-1. But just two minutes after his introduction, Picha Autra restored the visitors' lead, before Willian Popp sealed the win in the 68th minute. Tero are currently in eighth place after the defeat. It was Dominic's eighth appearance this season, his sixth as a substitution, while Sumareh has yet to make his competitive debut for the club he joined just last month.

In Japan:

Malaysia U-23 striker Hadi Fayyadh has yet to make an official appearance for J2 League side Fagiano Okayama since joining them in early 2019, but on Sunday he scored for them in a practice match against Konan University.

In Europe:

Malaysia star Safawi Rasid too is yet to make his first team competitive debut for Portuguese Primeira Liga side Portimonense SC. On Sunday they lost 1-0 playing away to CD Tondela, with Safawi not selected for their matchday squad, and they are currently just one spot above the relegation zone, in 16th place.

Belgian-born right back Dion Cools, who is also eligible for Malaysia, played the full 90 minutes for FC Midtjylland, in their 3-2 comeback win against Brondby in the Danish Superliga on Sunday. He has made five appearances for the defending league champions so far this season, out of their six matches. Midtjylland moved up to second place after the stunning win, and are tied on 13 points with leaders SønderjyskE.

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But the attention grabber is surely teenage star Luqman Hakim Shamsudin's first team competitive debut for KV Kortrijk on early Saturday morning. The youngster came on in the 74th minute of their home match against RSC Anderlecht, when they were trailing 3-0, and was later involved in a movement that resulted in an 87th-minute penalty for the home team. The spot kick was converted by Ilombe Mboyo, to end the match 3-1. The result perhaps was not what the Guys wanted, but for the 18-year old, he etched his name in the Malaysian football history book as the first ever Malaysian to play in a top European league.

Luqman Hakim, Kortrijk v Anderlecht, Jupiler League, 24 Oct 2020

Luqman Hakim making his debut. Photo from KV Kortrijk