Tag Archive for 'LionsXII'
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Terengganu was confident of getting the win today, and star striker Francis Dorkey Foe even vowed to get a goal against the LionsXII.
It was not going to be easy with the match being played at the Jalan Besar cauldron, but the Malaysia Cup champions did exactly what they said they were going to do, winning the game 1-0.
The LionsXII started the game positively, attacking right from the first whistle and troubling their opponent’s defence on several occasions.
Vice-captain Hariss Harun also kept Terengganu star striker Francis Forkey Doe quiet as the Liberian failed to make an impact in the early stages.
The lights took an unexpected break at the half hour mark as some of the floodlights at the Jalan Besar stadium went out but the match resumed seven minutes later, much to the delight of the fans.
That pause seemed to do Terengganu some good as they began to impose themselves on the game.
But chances were few and far between after that as both sides entered the break level.
The second half was a dull affair as Terengganu dominated but that all changed with ten minutes left in the game.
Liberian striker Doe took advantage of some poor defending by the LionsXII and sent a low shot past Izwan Mahbud and into the bottom left corner.
That knocked the wind out of the LionsXII and the Singaporeans struggled to keep Terengganu out of their half and looked extremly lethargic on the field.
It was a demoralising defeat for the LionsXII, but the result could have been very different if they had taken their chances in the first half.
Will the LionsXII be able to cope with the might of Terengganu? Our Deputy Sports Editor Dan Guen Chin shares his thought’s on last season’s Malaysian Super League runners-up.
Of all the games played so far, Sabah probably gave the LionsXII their toughest test to date.
The side from East Borneo, boasting an impressive roster of players both local and foreign, took charge of the match and dominated from the first whistle to last.
But it was not enough as the LionsXII won 1-0.
The opening goal came in the 20th minute as LionsXII vice-captain Hariss Harun rose the highest in the penalty area to head a Shahdan Sulaiman free-kick past the Sabah goalkeeper.
That sparked Sabah into action and the home side pressed hard to get the all-important equaliser.
And they came close in the 32nd minute when a nice one-two by the home side put Australian striker Michael Baird through on goal but LionsXII defender Shakir Hamzah put in a brilliant tackle to deny Sabah the qualiser.
Things then got ugly a few minutes later when Sabah’s Mafry and the LionsXII’s Irwan Shah were both shown the red card for lashing out at each other near the touchline.
But the LionsXII managed to resist wave after wave of bruising attacks by Sabah to end the first half in the lead. But judging by the closing minutes of the half, Izwan Mahbud was in for a busy second half.
And he was called into action on the hour mark when a Sabah midfielder unleashed a ferocious left-footed shot from outside the area. But the LionsXII custodian was up to the mark and pulled off a brilliant flying save to keep his side in the lead.
But as Sabah huffed and puffed in search of a goal, they simply could not find a way past the LionsXII defence.
Izwan Mahbud was dealing with all of their crosses and shots with ease and the defence seldom looked stretched against a side whose attack was widely thought to be one of the best in the Malaysian Super League.
With ten minutes left to play Sabah almost got the goal they desired when Baird got behind the LionsXII defence and found fellow Aussie Brendan Gan with a neat pass.
Unfortunately, Gan scuffed his shot, letting the LionsXII off the hook yet again.
And as the final whistle blew, the LionsXII rejoiced as they secured their first away victory of the season.
It wasn’t pretty, but they all count.
The LionsXII would have been confident of securing their first win of the season, even if star striker Agu Casmir was missing from the starting lineup.
Kuala Lumpur had started the league in disastrous fashion, losing their first two games and scoring no goals in the process.
And that run is set to continue following their 2-1 loss at the hands of the LionsXII.
The Lions XII began the match brightly, with Shahdan Sulaiman’s set pieces causing plenty of problems for the Kuala Lumpur defence. Unfortunately, those attempts did not bear fruit and the Kuala Lumpur goalkeeper was relatively untroubled in the opening exchanges.
LionsXII defender Baihakki Khaizan had two excellent chances to give his side the lead but on both occasions, his headers off Shahdan Sulaiman’s free-kicks flew over the bar.
Shakir Hamzah and Safuwan Baharudin also missed clear chances on goal as the visitors’ defence struggled to deal with Shahdan Sulaiman’s wicked free-kicks into the penalty area.
The LionsXII efforts were finally rewarded in the 43rd minute when Shahril Ishak’s low cross into the area was converted by a Kuala Lumpur defender to make it 1-0 to the LionsXII.
The second half began the same way the first half ended, with the LionsXII attacking and the visitors barely getting a sniff at goal.
Kuala Lumpur’s misery was heightened when the LionsXII doubled their lead in the 56th minute. Shahdan Sulaiman got a much deserved goal after connecting sweetly with Irwan Shah’s cross.
However, things went downhill from there for the LionsXII.
Defender Safuwan Baharudin got his marching orders after committing a needless foul in the penalty area and Kuala Lumpur scored the resulting penalty to get back in the game.
Kuala Lumpur then began asserting themselves on the game as boos rang around the Jalan Besar Stadium. Both sides also made attacking substitutions in search of that game-changing goal.
Despite holding on to the lead, the LionsXII received more bad news when substitute striker Khairul Nizam was stretchered off the field, leaving his side seriously short of options in front of goal for their next game.
But the LionsXII can celebrate tonight after securing their first win of the Malaysian Super League season.
They may have made it hard for themselves in the closing minutes, but the win will be a welcome boost to Sundram and his boys.
Former Singapore star R Suriamurthi is happy that the LionsXII have gotten their first win of the season, but feels there is still a lot of work for V Sundramoorthy’s side.
He said: “They have to do a lot better, particularly in terms of composure and keeping possession of the ball against a Kuala Lumpur side without any foreign signings.
“But at least they have got their first win, and it’s definitely an improved performance.”
So who are Kuala Lumpur? Our Deputy Sports Editor Dan Guen Chin shares his thoughts on a team that has fallen far from its glory days.
It was supposed to a game filled with attacking football. A game where both sides had to attack to bounce back from opening-day defeats in the Malaysian Super League.
But judging by the night’s performances, both sides would have considered a 0-0 draw to be a fair result. Continue reading ‘LionsXII vs Kedah: Match report’
Our Deputy Sports Editor Dan Guen Chin shares his thoughts on Kedah, the youngest team in the Malaysian Super League with a long history of success.
Clueless about Kelantan? Our deputy sports editor shares some insights into the Malaysian Super League’s defending champions.