By Sulayman Bah
If ever Gambian-born Muhamed Sumareh needed to prove his teeming numbers of doubters wrong then this must have been the moment.
The Fajara-born erstwhile Real Mallorca trialist became the first naturalised foreigner allowed to play in the Malay national team.
The 23-year-old obtained his passport early this year but procedures meant he wouldn’t be immediately fielded as debate raged over the inclusion of a foreign-born in the Southeast Asian country’s senior team.
Being one of the deadliest attackers of the Asian nation’s Super League, the Malaysian FA were receptive to theory of adding Sumareh to bolster their attacking options.
Delay in his conversion and recruitment from an international to a local player prompted his exclusion from the friendlies held in September.
However, he was on track to make his official appearance for the Malaysian national team in an exhibition encounter this month and took him barely few minutes to silence his critics.
Muhamed first set up an assist after climbing off the bench before firing two quick-fire goals of his own to complete the rout.
If this wasn’t enough to endear him to fans of his adopted country, then his show of humility by refusing to accept all the adulations in the aftermath of the game, should.
‘It wasn’t (just) me it was hundred percent teamwork of my teammates,’ he said at game’s end.
Confortable as a winger or a playmaker, the skillful starlet was on the radar of the Gambian squad when Raoul Savoy was coach in 2015 before his recent switch of allegiance.
The ex-Tregganu FC man arrived in Malaysia as an 11-year-old with his business family and has lived there since.
For now Gambia’s loss is Malaysia’s