Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Terengganu fans delighted with in-form Liberian striker Francis Doe

It did not take long for Liberian centre-forward Francis Doe to win the hearts of Terengganu fans.

Just hours after arriving in Kuala Terengganu for trials late last month, the 27-year-old former DC United and Ah-Ahly striker scored three goals in Terengganu's 6-0 win over Perlis in a friendly match.

Coach Mat Zan Mat Aris and the Terengganu supporters had high hopes for the Liberian national when he signed on Jan 4 but was ruled ineligible to play in the Super League by the FA of Malaysia (FAM).

Doe and the other foreign signing Erison Da Silva Santos Carnietto, otherwise known as 'Baiano', from Bazil, had to miss the first two league matches before FAM gave them the greenlight to play. 

Without the duo, Terengganu were beaten 1-0 away to Perak on the opening day before the they bounced back with a comfortable 3-0 win over Felda United FC at home four days later.

A late all-clear came for Doe and Biano 24 hours before the away match to Sarawak on Tuesday and they were on the first plane to Kuching on match day, arriving a few hours before the kick off.

But that did not stop Doe from becoming an instant hero by scoring the winning goal in the visitors' 1-0 win although he was unlucky to pick up an ankle injury just before the match ended.

Initially on Saturday, Mat Zan had ruled him unfit to play in the Kuala Terengganu derby against T-Team but knowing that a capacity crowd had come to watch him play, Doe decided to ignore the swollen ankle and had a go at it.

He was rewarded with a brace, one from the penalty spot and the other from a solo effort when he collected a pass from Ashaari Shamsuddin, danced his way past goalkeeper Iqbal Suhimi and cooly slotted in Terengganu's winning goal.

Mat Zan who was full of praise for Doe after the match, said the player had exceeded all expectations managing to score three goals in two matches.

"With him around, our team are stronger and I have no doubt he will get even better.

"I am glad we do not have a mid-week match as Doe can use this little break to recover from his injury and, hopefully, he will be fit again when we travel to Singapore to take on LionsXII on  Saturday," he said.

The coach said, with Doe and Biano adapting well, Terengganu now have the much needed depth to go the distance in the league.

"Against T-Team, we had national players Joseph (Kallang Tie), Ismail (Faruqi), Faizal (Muhamad), Hadi (Yahya) and Shukor (Jusoh) on the bench. And that says a lot about the strength of our team this season," he said.

No comments:

Post a Comment