The LIONSXII theme song

Cloud Nine for LIONSXII

Cloud Nine for LIONSXII

The LionsXII stretched their unbeaten run to five games by demolishing Sabah by a scoreline of 9-0 in front of 6,289 fans at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday, 16 June 2012.

The highlight of the match was undoubtedly stand-in Captain Hariss Harun’s first hat-trick of his career.

The LionsXII opened the scoring in the eighteen minute, when Agu Casmir bundled home the ball from just in front of the goal line after Sabah failed to clear a corner, the third successive one the Lions had.

They doubled the score just four minutes later, after Sabah once again failed to clear a corner. This time, Hariss Harun volleyed the ball into the net for the first of his three goals on the night. Sabah tried to respond three minutes later, but failed to do so after Shahrul Azhar fired over from a tight angle after good work from Bredan Gan.

Hariss’ second and LionsXII’s third goal came in the 41st minute.

Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, he went past one defender before finishing it coolly from just outside the six yard box, curling it past Sabah’s goalkeeper Irwan Jamil into the bottom corner.

Shahdan Sulaiman then further extended the lead with two goals in three minutes. The first, in the 63rd minute, was via a cheeky lob over Irwan into the empty goal after Agu drew the defenders’ attention before laying the ball to Shahdan.

The second was a great team move on the break. Agu once again had a big hand, after his pin-point cross to Juma’at Jantan allowed the right midfielder to lay the ball off to the unmarked Shahdan, who was left with a simple tap-in.

The attacking midfielder had started the move in his own half, before sprinting all the way into Sabah’s half to score.

Five minutes later, it was six. Agu was the creator yet again, as his cross from the right found the run of Irwan Shah, who slotted it past Irwan Jamil coolly.

Hariss duly got his hat-trick in the 73rd minute, after Shaiful Esah cut back from the left found him, and his shot went in off a defender for a seven goal lead.

Fans could have been forgiven for thinking that would be all, but the LionsXII scored two further goals in the final seven minutes to make it a memorable night, as they recorded the biggest score line in the Malaysian Super league so far this season.

Substitute Sufian Anuar headed in fellow substitute Shaiful Esah’s freekick in the 83rd minute, after coming on just twelve minutes earlier. The last goal of the night, came from an unfortunate own goal six minutes later, after Shahrul Azhar turned in Shahdan Sulaiman’s cross past his goalkeeper.

Speaking at the post match press conference, Sabah Head Coach Gosutim Ganai said, “We tried our best, but we know Singapore (LionsXII) is a very good team. We cannot do anything, they were really really good. Congrats to LionsXII.”

LionsXII head coach, V. Sundramoorthy said, “It was a great win, I think we should erase the memories of Malaysia and move forward to this game and the fans were great tonight.”

“What more can I ask from the team when they can score nine goals? Definitely I’m surprised with the 9-0 win. Whenever I saw Sabah play they are a good attacking team and gave a good fight for their opponents. Tonight we played much better and we had good finishing.”

When asked which was his favourite goal, Sundram replied, “Difficult to pick one, but I thought the team goal was one of the best, when Agu passed to Juma’at and he lay it off to Shahdan, it was a good combination goal.”

Final score: LionsXII 9-0 Sabah FA

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