There are a few names in the Kuala Lumpur City starting line-up who are omnipresent and are usually counted upon by headcoach Bojan, week in week out, to implement whatever plan he has in mind from game to game. Among the Croatian’s go to guys are goalkeeper Mendoza, defenders Gallifuoco and Irfan, midfielders Paulo Josue and Akram.


29-year old Akram has started in all of the City Boys’ fixtures this season except for 3 encounters, when he was rested in the FA Cup First Round thrashing of Langkawi City, missed their maiden away victory at Sarawak United and was suspended in the home draw against Petaling Jaya City. Recently, he even got his name on the score sheet for the first time this year, restoring his team’s lead at 2-1 in Kota Kinabalu, a glancing header that atoned for his mistake which allowed Sabah’s first equaliser, in the 2-2 draw.


During Sunday’s 2-0 win over Sri Pahang in Kuantan, the Kulim born was his usual self, producing yet another battling performance in the centre of the park, protecting his defence by doing all the dirty work despite the trying conditions of the night on a heavy pitch that was soaking wet due to the downpour earlier before kick-off, to help the Red and White’s register only their second three pointer on the road in the league this season and reclaim fifth position from his former side Kedah DA.


Into his third year in the nation’s capital, joining the city slickers while they were competing in the Premier League (second division), Akram kept it simple when The Voice of The City Boys asked about his performance at the weekend


“Each game, I will always give 120% for the team. I will never be satisfied with my own performance, and I want to keep doing my best and I want the best for the team!”, he said.


Indeed an attitude that has frequently seen him thrown into the radar of the national selectors for a chance to don the colours of Harimau Malaya which he last did in October 2021 (1-5, friendly match vs Uzbekistan in Amman, Jordan), following his consistent performances this season that has played a big part in the City Boys’ current unbeaten run of six matches that began since the loss to Johore DT at the beginning of August.


Looking back to the City Boys latest exploits in their dreamy AFC Cup 2022 campaign, Akram was asked of the pass he laid for skipper Paulo Josue to break the deadlock with a scorcher on the hour in the 3-1 win over ATK Mohun Bagan during the East Region Semi-final in Kolkata, India just a few days back.


“I know Paulo’s (Josue) capability of long shots, which is why I laid off the ball to his left foot so that he can easily turn and shoot. We didn’t have many chances in the game, so this was the only chance we had, and I was banking it all on Paulo. Alhamdullilah (praise to God), it all worked out well”, he explained.


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