Spasojevic blow for Malacca
FACING a team as strong as Kedah in the Super League today without your main striker is not best way to inspire confidence but Malacca will have to make do with Ilija Spasojevic’s absence.
Spasojevic, who scored 27 goals in all competitions as Malacca won the Premier League title last year, has just one goal to his name this year before pulling a hamstring in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Penang.
The Montenegrin striker missed Malacca’s 3-1 defeat to Pahang last weekend with the same problem and lasted less than 10 minutes in Georgetown before having to go off.
His insistence in wanting to play against Penang has backfired with coach Eric Williams saying Spasojevic will be sidelined for a few weeks.
“Ilija has a similar injury which forced him to miss the game against Pahang,” said Williams after the Penang match. “I said to him have a rest for this match because we have another important match coming up, they are all important matches.
“But he wanted to play and now he is broken down again. I would say he wouldn’t be ready for a few weeks. It’s really disappointing to lose your main striker in the first 10 minutes. So we had to shuffle around a little bit and I thought the players fought well.”
Fauzi Roslan, who replaced Spasojevic against Penang, is expected to come into the starting line up against Kedah and link up with forwards Amri Yahyah and Sergio Ezequiel Aguerro at the Darulaman Stadium. Williams also has Jeon Woo-Young available after the South Korean was not used against Penang.
“Fauzi did okay, we still have Aguero who is obviously tired because he had not played in many weeks so hopefully he can recover,” said Williams in assessing his options.
“Jeon comes back in after resting him. He could have played but I decided I did not want to do more damage to his injury. So hopefully, he can recover quickly and face a strong Kedah team on their home ground.”
Malacca play their second game in a run of three away matches with a trip to Kuantan to face Pahang in the FA Cup third round to follow next week.
However, Williams’ side have done well on their travels by beating Sarawak and Kelantan while snatching a point against Selangor and Penang to sit in eighth place in the standings with eight points.
Kedah, on a 19-game unbeaten run since August, are coming off a 1-1 draw with Selangor after conceding a late and controversial equaliser which saw them drop a point behind new league leaders Pahang.
Darul Ta’zim’s Ahmad Hazwan Bakri (right) and Pahang’s Matthew Thomas vie for the ball in a Super League match at Larkin Stadium yesterday.