New Straits Times

De Paula warns of more to come

- Devinder Singh

De Paula warned that his hat-trick in Kuala Lumpur’s 4-0 FA Cup rout of Kuching on Saturday is only the start after ending his goal drought this season.

The Brazilian striker failed to find the back of the net in KL’s four outings in the Super League, having plundered 30 goals in all competitio­ns last year as the city side won the Premier League title.

But playing against third-tier opposition allowed De Paula to rediscover his goalscorin­g instincts, though he also missed a late penalty at the KL Football Stadium in the second round match.

De Paula, however, said he will not be fully satisfied until he strikes in the Super League, starting against Kedah next Saturday.

“I waited a long time after not scoring in four games in the Super League. I feel sad for not scoring but finally I’ve scored and I can be happy,” said De Paula, who also set up Paulo Josue for KL’s other goal against Kuching.

“A striker always needs to score to help his team win. When sometimes I don’t score I try to pass the ball for my teammates to score.

“Now I hope to continue scoring in the Super League and FA Cup. Next week, we face Kedah in a tough game but we will give our best.”

The win was KL’s biggest in the FA Cup in 21 years since a 5-1 rout of Melaka Telekom in 1997 while De Paula’s hat-trick was the first by a KL player in the tournament since Kamsi Joel’s treble in 2005.

KL coach Fabio Maciel gave a first start of the season to goalkeeper Ahmad Solehin Mamat, left-back Syazwan Andik Ishak, midfielder Irfan Zakaria and forward Zaquan Adha Radzak while leaving out Brazilian midfielder Junior Aparecido due to the limit on foreign players in the FA Cup.

“They all did well and I now have a good headache to select a team to play Kedah next week,” said Maciel.

“It does not mean the players who did not play today did poorly before because I wanted to give others a chance.”

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