August 13, 2018

The second round of group stage matches in the unifi Piala Malaysia 2018 has come to an end and we are almost halfway through the group stages of the 92nd edition of the prestigious competition.

Here is our team of the week for the second round of matches.

Goalkeeper: Muhaimin Mohamad (MIFA)

The Malaysian goalkeeper continued his fine form from the first round of matches after securing his first clean sheet of the competition. As he was extremely dominant during his side’s historic 2-1 win over Johor Darul Ta’zim in uPM1, Muhaimin was on the top of his game as he made several important saves to keep the Kelantanese team from getting back at any point in the game.

Defender: S. Kunanlan (Johor Darul Ta’zim)

The 32 year-old full-back managed to get on the scoresheet in the dying stages of their 5-1 victory over Kedah after a brilliant through ball from team captain Hariss Harun in Larkin. The ex-national team player loved bombarding down the touchlines throughout the entire game. He linked well with his teammates going forward and worked well defensively as well.

Defender: Muslim Ahmad (Pahang)

The AFF Suzuki Cup winner was rock solid at the heart of defence for Pahang against Selangor on Saturday. The match was touted to be a rematch of the Shopee Piala FA Malaysia 2018 final and Pahang made it seem like déjà vu as the match ended 2-0 in their favour at Stadium Shah Alam. He scored the opening goal in the first half, assisted Norshahrul Idlan Talaha and kept a clean sheet too.

Defender: Shukor Adan (Felda United FC)

The team captain performed tremendously against fellow 100PLUS Liga Premier Malaysia side PDRM last night. Let’s not forget that he is 38 years-old and was seen running forward with the ball on numerous occasions. The winners of the second division celebrated a 5-0 win over PDRM and Shukor Adan etched his name on the scoresheet towards the end of the tie in Melaka. On top of that, he also provided an assist.

Defender: Wan Ahmad Amirzafran (Terengganu FC)

The first five players (one goalkeeper, four defenders) are all Malaysians. That is something to be extremely proud of. The Turtles’ defender Wan Ahmad Amirzafran just showed his worth after putting everything on the line in the high-scoring victory over Perak at Ipoh two days ago. He got himself on the scoresheet and worked hard alongside his defenders to ensure three points for Irfan Bakti’s side.

Midfielder: Ashari Samsudin (Terengganu FC)

Who else would it be but this club legend? The 33 year-old midfielder opened the scoring during Terengganu FC’s 4-3 win over Perak away from home and was indispensable for his side. He was pulling the strings and working his magic through the middle of the park. His creativity and vision also helped his team open up spaces to allow a more attacking threat moving forward.

Midfielder: Wander Luiz (Perak)

Despite being on the losing end against Terengganu FC on Saturday, Brazilian playmaker Wander Luiz scored two goals in quick succession to try to help Perak secure a point. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late for the home team as they ran out of time to score an all-important equalizer. Wander Luiz scored his twelfth and thirteenth goals of the season and was the best player for The Bos Gaurus.

Midfielder: Lee Chang-hoon (Melaka)

South Korean player Lee Chang-hoon was on the verge of winning three points for his side against PKNS FC two days ago but three goals in less than ten minutes secured an important point for Datuk K. Rajagopal and his side. The ex-national team boss was probably inspired by Liverpool’s incredible comeback against AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League final back in 2005, but he was close to tasting defeat, thanks to Lee Chang-hoon. The Melaka player scored two goals and assisted once to earn a place in this week’s Team of the Week.

Forward: Fernando Marquez (Johor Darul Ta’zim)

Mr. 1+8 was brilliant against 2016 TM Piala Malaysia winners Kedah at Stadium Tan Sri Dato’ Hj Hassan Yunos on Friday night. The Argentinian forward drew first blood for Johor Darul Ta’zim before assisting Natxo Insa and Gonzalo Cabrera. There are some similarities between him and former player Juan Martin Lucero, in terms of their goalscoring attributes and link-up play with teammates.

Forward: Guilherme de Paula (Kuala Lumpur)

Our player of the week has to fall to Kuala Lumpur’s Guilherme de Paula. He scored a whopping 4 goals away against Felcra FC at Stadium Bolasepak Kuala Lumpur (his club’s homeground as well) and stole the limelight as the best player of the week. He took his tally to 21 goals and is looking to reach the 30-goal mark at the end of this season.

Forward: Thiago Augusto (Felda United FC)

There have been goals galore throughout uPM2 and almost 10% of the goals scored this week (34) came from Brazilian forward Thiago Augusto Fernandes. He is currently The Fighters’ top goalscorer and he matched Guilherme de Paula’s goalscoring tally for the season after a hat-trick took it to 21 goals in 24 games. It looks like he will not stop scoring and that is only good news for Felda United FC.