Pahang’s Dickson Nwakaeme is the best example of someone who leads from the front.
The Nigerian sensation did not start against Melaka at the Hang Jebat Stadium on Saturday as he is not fully fit, but he came on in the 52nd minute and constantly troubled the Mousedeer’s defence with his runs and close control.
His combination with Brazilian striker Ivan Carlos could be one of the Super League’s talking points, as both of them were instrumental in the Elephants’ 1-0 win over Melaka.
Nwakaeme received a pass from the former Persija Jakarta striker, and he did not disappoint when he beat two defenders before unleashing a thunderous shot inside the box.
Melaka certainly felt hard done by the goal as they were the side who created more chances.
Even Pahang coach Dollah Salleh admitted that his side were lucky to see Melaka missing so many chances.
“Tonight, we did not do what we used to do in the last three matches. We had possession, almost 60 per cent of the game, but not many clear-cut chances were created, ” said the former Malaysia international.
“Melaka, on the other hand, were dangerous up front, but they could not finish off their chances. That was an advantage to us, and we thank Dickson for scoring that winning goal.
“Even though he is not at his 100 per cent, he kept our attack alive and that goal summed up his influence in the team.
It was not our game tonight, but we got the three points.”
After losing their first two matches, Pahang are seemingly back on track after beating Sabah 2-0 last week, and now downing Melaka 1-0 to be placed fourth with six points.
Meanwhile, Dollah’s contemporary Zainal Abidin Hassan said this was Melaka’s best match in the league, but it was a real disappointment not to get a win.
“This is football. Players have to know and understand that even if you have 10 chances, it is pointless if you don’t finish them off.
“Our opponents got about four to five chances, but they scored one. In simple terms, goals win you games, and we did not do that tonight.
“It was our best performance so far, but we did not score. Instead of lamenting, we must work on our weaknesses during the break.”
Melaka are still third in the league with six points, as teams will now go on a 30-day break starting today as the Football Association of Malaysia and Malaysian Football League will stop all football activities in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.