Perak FA 2-2 LionsXII
(Charles Souza 27’ Woong Nam Kung 49’; Khairul Amri 4’, Firdaus Kasman 68’)
21 FEBRUARY 2015: A stunning effort from substitute Firdaus Kasman midway through the second half earned a point for the LionsXII on Saturday evening.
Khairul Amri’s first goal of the season had opened the proceedings early on, but two goals from either side of half-time from Perak gave the hosts the lead until Firdaus’ goal squared the match.
It was Perak who had the brighter start to the game and they could have taken the lead just two minutes into the match.
LionsXII failed to deal with a cross into the box and Afiq Yunos’ clearance fell to Tuah Iskandar, who fired in an effort from the edge of the box only to see Izwan Mahbud produce a good save.
From the resulting corner, the Singapore team scored with a counter-attack that started and ended with Amri.
Amri fed the ball to Zulfahmi Arifin, whose cross found Faris Ramli inside the box. Faris then in turn found Amri sprinting into the box, and the number 19 made no mistake with a finish into the top corner.
Perak then seized the initiative as they tried to level the scores, but the pace of the LionsXII attackers almost caught them out in the 22nd minute.
Amri did brilliantly to skip past a number of challenges before setting up Isa Halim in the box, but the defensive midfielder shot into the side netting from a narrow angle.
Three minutes later, Perak equalised.
A freekick from the right side was sent into the penalty box and Charles Souza shook off his markers to divert it into the back of the net.
Four minutes after the restart, Woong Nam Kung gave Perak the lead. The former South Korean International peeled off the back of Madhu Mohana to head Nurridzuan Hassan’s cross and despite Izwan’s best efforts, the ball still went in.
LionsXII head coach Fandi Ahmad made a change by bringing on Firdaus Kasman for Zulfahmi, which turned out to be an astute substitution.
Chasing down a loose ball in the 68th minute, Firdaus outsmarted Thiago Junio, before unleashing a left-footed volley from 25 yards that Perak keeper Zamir Selamat had no chance of saving.
The equaliser gave LionsXII a boost, as they took over proceedings in search of the winning goal.
They could have gone ahead two minutes from time after Amri was presented with a chance following a poor clearance, but his shot was blocked by Junio on the line before Zamri claimed it.
The result means the LionsXII now lie eighth in the table with four points, three behind joint leaders Felda United and Perak FA.
The LionsXII will face PB Melayu Kedah away at the Langkawi Stadium next as they turn their attentions to the Malaysia FA Cup on 28 February.