Written By: Kenneth Ho
LionsXII head coach labelled his side’s 3-2 win over Terengganu FA as their ‘greatest comeback’ ever after they came back from a goal down twice.
The LionsXII found themselves trailing as early as the fourth minute, after Paulo Rangel side-footed a first-time effort past Izwan Mahbud at his near post.
While Sahil Suhaimi equalised for the hosts 30 minutes later, the LionsXII went behind once again just before the break as Rangel struck for the second time.
Thankfully, Safuwan Baharudin popped up with another superb display as he scored a brace – including the winner two minutes from time – to condemn the Turtles to their third straight defeat in the Malaysia Cup.
“This is a greatest comeback for the LionsXII,” Fandi asserted after the game.
“To me the boys gave their all, the first half didn’t turn out well for us, we were sloppy in defence and attacking-wise we were missing a few players.
“Second half we kept on pressing and it’s a very difficult game for us because for me, they are one of the best team in Malaysia, but our boys kept on fighting and we deserved this victory.”
Despite having to equalise twice, Fandi was adamant that a point was unacceptable and he was effusive in his praise for Safuwan after the latter ensured the LionsXII claimed three points.
“Safuwan was once again our key player,” Fandi said. ““Others should follow his attitude, determination and dedication
“He fights until the end, he gets knocks here and there, but he keeps going for challenges, headers, and tackles.
“He put his body out there, he is the heart and soul of the team.”
Christopher Van Huizen too was praised by Fandi, after the 75th-minute substitute grabbed his third assists in as many games by providing the delivery for Safuwan’s winner.
“That’s why we reserved him, he’s an impact player,
“I know one cross can make a lot of difference and almost every game he has an assist, This is fantastic motivation for him to work harder, he’s our trump card.”