lionsxii vs johor fa malaysia cup

Khairul Amri lashing in the only goal of the game two minutes in. (Photo © Roy Sim. Courtesy of FAS. Used with permission)


Jalan Besar Stadium, Saturday, September 1, 2012 — The Singapore LionsXII beat visiting Johor FA 1-0 to take another step towards a place in the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Cup.

The win in front of 4,832 fans improved the LionsXII’s record to two wins and two draws and they lead Group A on goal difference over Johor FC who have the same number of points but a poorer goal difference.

The only goal of the game came quickly. Khairul Amri scored two minutes in after a good pass by Baihakki Khaizan from the back.

The early goal did not trigger further goals and the closest the LionsXII came to scoring again was in the 80th minute when Sevki Sha’ban’s header was cleared off the line.

Izwan Mahbud made crucial saves on the other end to ensure the home team kept a clean sheet.

Speaking at the post match press conference, Johor FA Team Manager Fandi Ahmad cited the early goal as the catalyst for their defeat.

“I thought it was a very exciting game, but I felt we were caught by surprise by the goal, although it was a good goal,our boys went to sleep; one of the defender did not follow the line,” said Fandi.

“I thought we gave a good fight, the amount of chances we created was a lot and we never sit back; we attacked. For us, we want to enjoy the game and obviously we want to do it while winning, but not all is lost for us. We still have some hope, but that will all depend on the Lions against PKNS and Johor FC,” added Fandi.

Fandi also praised Amri for the goal, saying: “It was an opportunist goal. He made a good run and just turned and shoot; it was a good goal.”

Fandi also took time to thank the Singapore fans for the reception he got from them tonight.

LionsXII head coach V. Sundramoorthy felt that it was a tough game tonight, and he was happy with the three points collected.

Said Sundram: “It’s the Malaysia Cup. Small teams will rise up their tempo and as you know, Johor FA really needed the win to keep themselves in the race (to make the knockout stages).”

The former striker added: “As the game went on, they threw more and more strikers to try to get the equalizer. For us, getting the goal early and trying to defend it was difficult but we manage to collect the points and we will now look forward to the next game.”

He too agreed that Amri’s goal was a good one.

He said: “It was a great goal. The keeper had no time to react. It’s good for him because he was out for quite some time and this will really give him the boost he needs to go out and perform better. He’s a player who is hungry and he will only get better.”

The Lions will next take on Selangor PKNS away in their penultimate game in the group stages of the Malaysia Cup. The game is scheduled for Tuesday, September 4th.

LionsXII Malaysia Cup fixtures