FAM LEAGUE:Revamped Malacca charging ahead
MALACCA have vowed to continue their fiery form in the second round of the FAM League.
The new-look Malacca side, who replaced 15 players during last month's transfer window, recorded their third straight league win last weekend.
The team, however, were given a fright by the talented Land Forces side before scoring two second half goals for three points.
Striker Mohd Ali Zulfakar Mohd Ali Napiah scored their opening goal in the 72nd minute before midfielder Mohamad Akhbar Khamis added the second in the final minute.
Ali Zulfakar, who is one of the new registered players, has been in perfect form since making his debut for Malacca in their 4-0 thrashing of Johor's Melodi Jaya on April 4.
The 24-year-old has scored four goals for Malacca in their last three matches.
Ali Zulfakar's scoring prowess has even surprised coach K. Selva Mohan, who said the player was discovered by chance.
"I wouldn't have discovered him if my team hadn't played a friendly against the Bahau team.
"He played for them and I was immediately impressed with his game," said Selva recently.
"I first had my doubts as he had never played for the state, even in age-group tournaments, but he proved me wrong with his qualities."
Ali Zulfakar, who played for Taman Merdeka FC in last season's Malacca League, and former Pahang striker R. Karthigesu have formed a good understanding up front, though the latter has yet to score a league goal.
"Ali Zulfakar is our main man up front and I hope he will keep on scoring," he said.
Among the other key players are former President Cup player Mohamad Zarul Nazmie Misra, Muhammad Raziff Jaafar (centre-backs) and midfield general Zainol Arief Rosly.
The team started the season badly, losing their opening five matches, which led to the removal of the management line-up and players.
It turned out to be a good move as Malacca are now riding high from three straight victories but they need to work harder in the second round to at least finish in the top half on the league table.
They are third from bottom, ahead of winless Sinar Dimaja Maisarah and Melodi Jaya but Selva said his team are motivated to make an assault in the second round.
"The management has done a great job to keep the players motivated. Everyone in the team is brimming with confidence and they want to help Malacca do better.
"However, we must work harder in the second round as we need to win all our matches in the hope of winning the league and earn promotion to the Premier League next season.
"It will not be easy as we did badly in our opening five matches but we need to remain positive and hope for the best but of course we need to keep our 100 per cent record," Selva added.
Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP FC), meanwhile, recorded their biggest win of the season when they thrashed Melodi Jaya 5-0 at the Kulai Mini Stadium on Sunday.
Zulhissyam Jamaluddin and Amir Shahreen scored a brace each while Mohd Saiful Basir added the other goal.
The victory has moved PBAPP to second place in the standings with 17 points, two less than leaders Public Service Commission (KL SPA), who edged Penang 1-0 in Bangi.