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Safee thanks teammates for scoring prize

Jakarta: Safee Sali paid special credit to his strike partner Norshahrul Idlan after the Malaysian forward netted his fifth goal of the AFF Suzuki Cup on Wednesday to bag the tournament's top scorer award.

Safee went goalless during the group stage but the 26-year-old found his goalscoring touch at the right time, scoring all five of his goals in the semi-finals and final to fire Malaysia towards their first ever triumph in the regional tournament.

He scored both of the goals in the 2-0 aggregate triumph over Vietnam in the last four and netted another brace in the 3-0 victory over Indonesia in the first leg of the final in Kuala Lumpur.

He then put the tie out of Indonesia's reach by lashing in a left-footed drive in the return match in Jakarta as the Tigers won 4-2 on aggregate.

Speaking to after picking up his award, the Selangor paid tribute to his teammates.

"I'm very proud to have won the top scorer award as I feel that I have worked hard throughout this tournament. But this award is not just for me but for all of my teammates, who have supported me very well," he said.

"During the group stage, I didn't manage to score a goal. But I never gave up and I continued to work hard during the knockout stage and my efforts eventually paid off in the last four matches."

Safee struck up a fine understanding with Norshahrul during the tournament, and he reserved some special praise for the Kelantan player.

"I must give a big thank you to my striker partner Norshahrul for helping me to win this award. He helped to create some good chances for me to score some of those goals," he said.