The LIONSXII theme song

LionsXII remain unbeaten at Jalan Besar

LionsXII remain unbeaten at Jalan Besar

Match Report

LionsXII 3 – 0 Pahang

SINGAPORE, 16 FEBRUARY 2013: LionsXII made it three successive wins on home ground after a 3-0 victory over high-flying Pahang at the Jalan Besar Stadium this evening. It was a dream debut for Faris Ramli as he scored in his 12th minute of action in the Malaysian Super League (MSL).

Another debutant, Zulfahmi Arifin, also had a good show for LionsXII, partnering Isa Halim in the centre-midfield position. He also played alongside Hariss Harun, who returned to the fold after nursing an injury. Hariss came on for Isa Halim in the 20th minute, after the latter took a knock in an aerial challenge.

LionsXII started the game with much vigour and determination, and it took the lead in the 12th minute through Faris, who found the back of the net for his first goal. Chances were aplenty for the LionsXII as Fazrul Nawaz had a goal ruled out for offside in the 35th minute. Shahfiq Ghani almost doubled the lead for LionsXII after he dribbled past Razman Roslan (Pahang, #13) and Saiful Nizam (Pahang, #3), but his efforts went high and wide from five yards out.

It was a slow start for both sides in the second half. In the 56th minute, Fazrul had another goal disallowed as he was caught offside. Almost instantaneously, the action shifted to the Singapore half of the pitch where R Gopinathan (#24) goal found the back of the net. But his goal was ruled offside as well.

Safuwan Baharudin had another great game for the LionsXII. An unmarked Safuwan scored in the 64th minute Pahang’s goalkeeper Jalalludin Jaafar was left clutching the air. Safuwan’s pairing with Baihakki Khaizan and with Izwan Mahbud, steady as rock in goal, helped the LionsXII clinch their second clean sheet in six games.

Fazrul’s hard work finally paid off in the 76th minute when he scored the third goal for LionsXII. Fazrul got on to Safuwan’s assist and put it beyond Pahang’s goalkeeper Jalalludin Jaafar. Captain Shahril Ishak could have added two more goals late in the game but they went astray. But these three goals and the precious three points were enough for LionsXII to record their biggest win of the MSL season, and it helped the LionsXII maintain their proud unbeaten record at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Pahang coach Dollah Salleh was full of praise for the LionsXII. He said: “I think LionsXII played their best game tonight. (On Faris Ramli) He is the best player tonight. He showed something tonight even though this is his first game in the league. He is skilful and experienced and my players were talking about him at half time and we didn’t expect LionsXII to play fast football,” added coach Dollah.

Coach V Sundramoorthy said after the game: “We didn’t expect to beat Pahang by three goals. We had prepared well for this game, and we knew they have fast and good technical players. They had scored in every game, and you can see that tonight, they had their chances as well.

“We were playing with confidence and we could see that the fans are enjoying the passing (flowing) football”, added coach Sundram.

On Hariss’ comeback to the team, coach Sundram said: “He has added strength to our squad and he helped to shield the two centre-backs. He can make a difference to the team. We had also brought on Faris (Ramli) Zulfahmi and Shahfiq, who linked up well with Shahril and Fazrul in the attacking front.”

Coach Sundram is already thinking of the next game away at Johor Darul Takzim on next Tuesday. He said: “We can compete with Johor and we have every chance to beat them.”

For LionsXII’s fans who watched the game at Jalan Besar Stadium today can keep their ticket stubs to gain free entry to the Courts Young Lions’ game on next Wednesday, 20 February 2013. The match tickets will also be on sale from tomorrow, 12pm onwards via TicketBooth outlets, TicketBooth website and AXS machines islandwide. Match-day ticket sales will start at 6pm. See you then!