Felda Utd goalkeeper Hamsani Ahmad (#21) looks on as the LionsXII players celebrate another penalty. (Photo 1 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)
Jalan Besar Stadium, Tuesday, March 6, 2012 — The Singapore LionsXII beat Felda United 3-1 to surge into second place in the Malaysian Super League (MSL) behind leaders Kelantan.
The score was 1-1 at half time.
The win improved the LionsXII’s record to 5 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses for 17 points while Kelatan are 6-2-1 with 20. Terengganu have a similar 5-2-2 record as the LionsXII but are third with an inferior goal difference.
Hariss Harun opened the scoring in the 5th minute for the LionsXII. From a Shahdan Sulaiman corner, Baihakki Khaizan directed his header to a waiting Hariss in the six yard box and the midfielder kneed the ball into the net.
Felda’s reply was swift. Shakir Hamzah gave away a free kick right at the edge of the box and Raimi Nor stepped up to blaze the ball past Hyrulnizam Jumaat in the 20th minute.
Coming out of half time tied 1-1, the LionsXII went ahead in the 51st minute when Sufian Anuar got his first goal of the season after he deflected a shot by Shahdan Sulaiman into goal.
The LionsXII then put the game beyond doubt in the second half when Shahril Ishak scored from the penalty box in the 67th minute after Isa Halim won a penalty.
It could easily have been 4-1 after substitute Khairul Nizam won another penalty but Shahril’s first effort was saved by Felda goalkeeper Hamsan Ahmad. The LionsXII captain then blasted the rebound way over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
“Felda is a team that passes the ball well and has good attackers. And we need to be cautious when we start and then move on to be more adventurous later in the game. With many regulars out, the players that we used tonight responded well too and each of them performed to their best,” said LionsXII head coach V Sundramoorthy.
When asked about the team’s climb to second place in the table, Sundram said: “It is still very early to say anything. We have to see how we progress as the season goes along because at any time now, you can lose two games and be back where you started.”
Felda’s coach Elavarasan Elan Gown said: “We were struggling in the first half with our centreback and waited to see how the situation was in the second half. But the LionsXII had the extra punch upfront with the introduction of Agu Casmir and I think that was the difference there.”
The LionsXII next face Negri Sembilan Betaria FC this Saturday in a Malaysian FA Cup Round 2 match. Tickets for the match will go on sale on Friday, March 9th March, 10am to 8pm at the North Gate of Jalan Besar Stadium.
LionsXII 3 Felda Utd 1
LionsXII — Hariss Harun 5′), Sufian Anuar (51′), Shahril Ishak (67′)
Felda Utd — Raimi Nor (20′)
Singapore LionsXII Starting Lineup
Hyrulnizam Jumaat, Isa Halim, Baihakki Khaizan (Agu Casmir 45′, Khairul Nizam 60’), Madhu Mohana (Firdaus Kasman 77’), Shahdan Sulaiman, Hariss Harun, Shahril Ishak (C), Irwan Shah, Sevki Sha’ban, Shakir Hamzah, Sufian Anuar
Substitutes: Izwan Mahbud, Shaiful Esah, Taufiq Rahmat, Yasir Yanapi, Agu Casmir, Khairul Nizam, Firdaus Kasman
Felda Utd Starting Lineup
Hamsani Ahmad (C), Farid Ramli, Ahmad Fakri, Nazri Ahmad, Azrul Ahmad, Khairan Ezuan, Raimi Nor (Farderin Kadir 76’), Cire Dia (Nizad Ayub 70’), S.Sivanesan (Lot Hassan 63’), Nizam Bakar, Makadji Boukar
Looking for the LionsXII’s fixtures? All here: Singapore LionsXII 2012 fixtures
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LionsXII vs Felda Utd Match Stats
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