Sunday, 20 November 2011

Ahmad Fakri hoping for better luck after scoring winner for Malaysia in SEA Games

Two years ago, Ahmad Fakri Saarani’s football career was at the crossroads.

The 22-year-old striker barely got a taste of first-team action – be it with Negri Sembilan nor the national squad.

Even in the ongoing campaign here, Ahmad Fakri has been struggling to regain the form he showed when he played a key role in helping Malaysia win the gold medal at the 2009 Laos SEA Games.

But yesterday, Ahmad Fakri went from zero to hero after his goal put Malaysia into the final against Indonesia at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Senayan.

“I needed this lift badly,” said Ahmad Fakri after the match yesterday.

“Nothing seems to be going right for me even at this young age. I am not a regular even in my state team despite working hard.

“I just can’t seem to shake off this bad patch which has been plaguing me for a long time,” added Ahmad Fakri.

In fact, Ahmad Fakri had put Malaysia into the semi-finals at the Laos Games. Malaysia came back from a goal down to edge fancied Thailand 2-1, with Ahmad Fakri scoring in stoppage time.

“Yes, it does bring back fond memories. I hope there will be no turning back now. I want to be sharper in front of goal and this goal has given me a lot of confidence.”

National Under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee was happy for Ahmad Fakri.

“Everyone knows he is going through difficult times. But this is football. His persistence paid off and I am happy for him,” said Kim Swee.

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