Written By: Kenneth Ho
LionsXII head coach Fandi Ahmad praised his team for their never-say-die attitude after they secured a 2-1 win over Johor Darul Ta’zim II (JDT II) at the Pasir Gudang Stadium on Saturday evening.
It could have been a different result for the LionsXII, had Safuwan Baharudin not scored a goal right at the death.
Both sides were level at 1-1 prior to the midfielder’s goal, aftee Nicolas Delmonte equalised Safuwan’s 23rd minute header with a penalty in the 72nd minute.
The LionsXII were even denied a goal in the 80th minute, after Khairul Amri’s free-kick was chalked off the scoresheet as Safuwan was deemed to have obstructed JDT II goalkeeper Zufadhli Mohamed’s vision in an offside position.
However, the Malaysia FA Cup horders plugged away right until the end and got just rewards for their hard work.
“It’s a good win for us, away from home,” Fandi said with a smile at the post-match interview.
“I thought we dominated the game, we created enough chances to score goals and we were a bit unlucky but these things happen and we didn’t score a goal.”
“We fought very hard right till the end. The discipline, the tactical strategy was good, we had so many counter attacks.”
Safuwan was Fandi’s man of the match following his two-goal salvo, but the LionsXII coach also had praise for his strikers, Khairul Amri and Sahil Suhaimi, for “working their socks off”.
Fandi hopes that Sahil in particular will gain confidence from this outing and continue to work hard in order to obtain more playing time.
“Definitely Sahil is playing well,” Fandi said. “I am trying to start him now because he usually comes on as a substitute and we want him to start regularly, but he needs to work harder.”