1) Mark Hartmann is the real deal
Model good looks, model girlfriend, a sweet right foot and an incredible work ethic.
Sarawak’s number 10 is proving to be quite a buy. A natural striker, he was fielded alongside Lee Jong Ho and the young Rodney Celvin in midfield. This ensured that Sarawak overloaded PKNS’s midfield.
As the game progressed, Hartmann seemed to cover every blade of grass.
His 18th minute shot led to Mateo Roskam heading in the opener.
Not to be outdone, Hartmann came up with the goods in the second half with a peach of a curler which left the keeper grasping at air.
Man of the match stuff.
2) PKNS need to find consistency
PKNS are indeed a Jekyll and Hyde team. One week they’re all slick passing and goals and a shambles the next.
Unfortunately, in a rain soaked game, it was the woeful PKNS which turned up. Although able to tie the score to 1-1 early in the second half, laclustre defending and play which bypassed the midfield put paid to their hopes of three points.
The team need to perform consistently to avoid an unwanted mid table obscurity or an unwanted relegation battle.
3) Liga Rakyat – an avenue to shine
Sarawak’s impact substitute scored his first ever goal in professional football with a thunderous drive into the top corner of the net. The nippy winger was a revelation in Kuching FA’s LBR 2016 winning team.
Called up to the Sarawak team this season, the youngster has been used as a substitute and has been doing well on the right wing.
Although very much unpolished unlike players who have been in the Malaysian football system, the youngster has talent and pace to burn.
David Usop has to slowly integrate Hafiz into the squad to enable him to fulfill the bags of potential that he clearly has.
The Liga Rakyat must also continue as it enables unearthed talent to be spotted.
4) Patrick Ronaldinho cannot do it alone
With Safee Sali just back from injury and showing the rustiness from the ankle knock which has kept him out of the PKNS team, Ronaldinho was more often than not fighting a losing battle upfront.
Talented as he is, Ronaldinho cannot carry the team on his own. Goalscorer Espinola is a craftsman im midfield but he has yet to show consistency (a recurring theme with PKNS) which would enable Ronaldinho to shine.
The selection of Bobby Gonzales must be considered as an option upfront as it may allow Ronaldinho to have a fit and hungry partner upfront.
5) David Usop’s stay of execution
Fans have been baying for Sarawak’s head coach to be sacked due to some unlucky defeats at home coupled with tactics which do not seem to be sophisticated enough.
The win against PKNS has given David some breathing space and he reiterated that the win showed that the formation has its benefits.
The win brought out the comedian in him as he insisted that tactics only work when the team wins.
Considering that Sarawak’s next opponent is JDT, David needs to get his tactics right again to secure at least a point at home Tuesday next week.
Photo by: Shafiq CSN/Creative Sports Network