The LIONSXII theme song

LionsXII end debut MSL season as runners-up

LionsXII end debut MSL season as runners-up

SINGAPORE, 14 July 2012: The LionsXII ended their inaugural Malaysian Super League season as runners-up despite going down 0-1 to Johor FC in front of 6,636 fans at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday evening.

Determined to put on a good showing in their final MSL match of the season, the Lions dominated the game from start to finish.

However, they failed to score on the night, in spite of having a great number of shots. The ball somehow just refused to find the back of the net, hitting the woodwork on a few occasions.

The first chance of the game came just two minutes into the clock for the LionsXII but Firdaus Kasman’s shot went just wide under pressure.

A host of chances then followed for the likes of Baihaikki Khaizan and Sufian Anuar, but each time it was either them failing to get it on target, or being denied by Johor FC’s custodian Zamir Selamat.

Johor then punished the LionsXII’s wastefulness when they scored in the 27th minute through Shahrizal Saad.

A cut back from Jasazrin Jamaludin found the forward inside the box, and his shot aimed for the bottom corner was deflected cruelly past goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma’at by centreback Sevki Sha’ban as he tried to block the shot.

Trailing by a goal, LionsXII kept pressure on Johor as they sent wave after wave of onslaughts  but were just unable to find the equalizer.

Regardless of the loss, the Lions still put on a celebration on the pitch to thank the fans for their loyal support and now set their sights on the Malaysia Cup.

Speaking at the post match press conference, Johor FC team manager Wan Mohd Nizam praised the team for the win over runners-up LionsXII.

“The boys played their hearts out today, although the Lions were a little unfortunate. They had so many chances but just couldn’t score, so for that I have to praise my defenders because they played to instructions.”

LionsXII head coach V.Sundramoorthy thought that complacency was not the reason for the loss tonight, but that luck deserted them.

“It wasn’t really complacent. We created many chances but I think if you gave us 180 minutes tonight, we also won’t score,” said coach Sundram.

“The ball simply won’t go in for us today. On any other day, we would score three easily. We were just unfortunate today and luckily, it happened today, not in the Malaysia Cup, which is what we will now aim for,” added the ‘Dazzler’.

In the earlier curtain raiser played between the Veterans and Celebrities as part of the celebrations to thank the fans, the veterans made of ex-internationals romped over the Celebrities, emerging as clear winners with a 3-1 scoreline.

For match details, click here.