KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — After a draw and two losses, Melaka United have turned their fortunes around with three wins on the trot in the Super League and FA Cup.
In their first year back in the Super League after a decade in the lower leagues, Melaka took awhile to get going and last year’s Premier League top scorer Illija Spasojevic got his first goal on Tuesday against Kelantan in a 2-0 win.
Defensive midfielder Khairu Azrin Khazali said last week it only takes one goal for Spasojevic to rediscover his touch and the goals will start coming.
“Ironic isn’t it?” chimed Khairu.
“It took him six games last year to open his account and it has happened again,” he elaborated.
Having acquired Amri Yahyah from Johor Darul Ta’zim this year, Melaka are reaping the rewards of having an experienced hand to pair with the Montenegrin, who incidentally speaks, fluent Bahasa Malaysia.
Amri, 36, is responsible for breaking Melaka’s string of losses when he scored the only goal in an FA Cup tie against PKNS on Valentines Day.
He and Spasojevic will be relied on to provide the goals as the team start to get used to the grind of the Super League.
Melaka and national leftback Khuzaimi Piee came on as substitute for Amri in the second half of the Kelantan game and felt the team are finally on the same wavelength.
“We got some confidence from the PKNS win and the two away wins are a huge boost,” said Khuzaimi.
“The boys are finally in sync and it’s showing on the pitch.
“Coach (Eric) Williams is emphasising individual skills so we can be more confident with the ball and it’s starting to pay off,” added the 23-year-old.
With second placed Pahang next on their match schedule, Melaka can ill afford to rest on their laurels.
Pahang are the highest scorers in the league and living up to their billing as the team to watch this year.
Tiredness may be the only issue for Melaka.
After beating Sarawak on Saturday in Kuching, they had to travel to Kota Baru for the Kelantan game.
This made it three games in 11 days, an exacting test of their endurance.