De Paula gunning for Da Rocha’s record
GUILHERME De Paula needs two more goals to break a long-standing club record for Kuala Lumpur when the city side face Perak SEDC in a vital Premier League promotion battle in Selayang today.
There could be no better occasion for De Paula to surpass the 23-goal mark in a league campaign set by fellow Brazilian striker Marcelo Padilha Da Rocha in 2004 for KL.
KL coach Fabio Magrao would be delighted to see De Paula claim the club record for himself as a win over fellow title contenders Perak SEDC would also take the team closer to the Super League.
“I hope to score tomorrow to help KL win. It would be nice to get the record but it is more important for KL to get the three points,” said De Paula, who has scored 22 goals in the Premier League and once in the Malaysia Cup this season, before training in Taman Pudu Ulu, Cheras yesterday.
Padilha also holds the KL record for most goals in a single season when he netted 30 times in all competitions in 2004.
De Paula is also just two goals shy of Ilija Spasojevic’s 24-goal haul in emerging as the Premier League top scorer last year and firing Melaka to the league title.
Magrao is glad that all his players have recovered from a flu virus which battered his squad last week when they were beaten 4-1 by Felda United in the Malaysia Cup before going down to Perak 2-0 in the same tournament on Tuesday.
“Everybody is available and all are ready for tomorrow’s match. I rotated the players against Perak and even so, it was one of the better performances I have seen,” said Magrao.
“We know what we have to do tomorrow because Perak SEDC are a good, young team and in a good moment. I have followed their last three games and I know it will be a difficult match.
KL lead Terengganu on goal difference with both teams on 38 points while Negri Sembilan and Perak SEDC follow just a point behind.
Perak SEDC coach Abu Bakar Fadzim said there are no scars from Tuesday’s 6-0 thrashing by Pahang in the Malaysia Cup.
“We had already qualified for the quarter-finals so I decided to rest a few players ahead of tomorrow’s match,” said Abu Bakar, whose side travelled directly from Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.
Terengganu will look to take advantage should KL falter by beating Kuantan away while Negri take on Police in Paroi.
Kuala Lumpur’s Guilherma de Paula is aiming to crack the 23-goal mark in a league campaign set by fellow Brazilian striker Marcelo Padilha Da Rocha in 2004 for KL.