The LIONSXII theme song

LIONSXII cruise to a 3-1 win over Negeri Sembilan

LIONSXII cruise to a 3-1 win over Negeri Sembilan

SINGAPORE, 11 February 2012: LIONSXII flexed their muscles on their home ground at Jalan Besar Stadium in front of 7,056 fans to come away 3-1 winners in the Malaysian Super League match against Negeri Sembilan on a hot Saturday night.

Coach V.Sundramoorthy rang the changes in attack and put former Home United striker, Sufian Anuar into the starting line-up to partner captain Shahril Ishak and the forward repaid his coach’s belief as he led the line superbly.

The LIONSXII started the match in determined fashion as they closed down the visitors on every ball and all their attacking moves looked threatening.

The scoreboard finally flickered and read LIONSXII 1-0 Negeri Sembilan when a handball by defender, Shahurain Abu Samah gave Shahril Ishak the opportunity from the penalty-spot to slot the ball home for the home team in the 31st minute.

The second-half flowed in similar fashion and a brilliant move down the right saw Sufian Anuar play a neat one-two with Shahdan Sulaiman before unleashing a back-heel that found the No.8 who obliged the second goal of the match. 2-0 the scoreboard read and the LIONSXII were in an unassailable lead with only 50 minutes on the clock.

Just ten minutes later in the 60th minute, Sufian found space down the right and took the Negeri Sembilan defence on a marathon run before threading the ball through to an unmarked Shahril Ishak to bag his second goal of the match.

A slew of substitutions by the visitors came and went but the action stayed in the yellow half as Sundramoorthy’s men continued to pile on pressure on the reigning Malaysia Cup holders.

It was not until virtually the last kick of the game with three minutes of additional time ticking down that the visitors finally found a loophole in the LIONSXII defence through Firdaus Azizul to cancel out a cleansheet for Izwan Mahbud who had a solid game in between the sticks.

Speaking at the post-match conference, LIONSXII Head Coach, V.Sundramoorthy was quick to point out, “I feel that I made the right decision to select Sufian Anuar in attack but this is a long season. The entire team will have different times to contribute and on another night, Agu Casmir will play a vital role for the LIONSXII. It is an important victory as we can now take on Perak with more confidence and hope to get a result there. With such displays at our home ground, I am optimistic that the fans will keep coming back and support the team. We have to build on this result and continue to improve with each passing match.”

Negeri Sembilan Head Coach, Mohd Azraai Khor bin Abdullah also commented at the post-match press conference, “My players were not used to the pitch here and they did not have enough time get accustomed to it. However, I feel that we also had some players who looked tired and Ahmad Shakir who was with the Malaysian Olympic team was looking physically worn out as the match progressed. We had our chances in the game but were unable to capitalize on it.”

LIONSXII Starting Line-up: Izwan Mahbud(GK), Shaiful Esah, Isa Halim, Baihakki Khaizan, Shahdan Sulaiman(Yasir Hanapi 71′), Hariss Harun, Shahril Ishak(C)(Agu Casmir 72′), Irwan Shah, Safuwan Baharudin, Juma’at Jantan, Sufian Anuar(Shakir Hamzah 89′)

Negeri Sembilan Starting Line-up: Farizal Marlias(GK), Norfafiz Zamani, Zulfaizham Kamis, Kunalan Sumramainam, Shahurain Abu Samah, Jean-Emmanuel Effa, Shukor Adan(C), Rashid Mamud(Mahathevan Gengatharan 56′), Idris Karim(Abdul Halim 67′), Qhairul Anuar, Ahmad Shakir(Firdaus Azizul 70′)

Referee: Nagor Amir Bin Noor Mohamad

CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE
11 FEB 2012

Further information from FAS Media Officer:
Kelvin Leong [DID: (65) 6880-3151 Mobile: (65) 9323-9965 Email: kelvin@fas.org.sg ]