The LIONSXII theme song

LionsXII will not sit back to defend one-goal lead

LionsXII will not sit back to defend one-goal lead

Written By: Kenneth Ho

15 May 2015: LionsXII will go into the second leg of the Malaysia FA Cup semi-final with every intent of playing attacking football as they look to reach the final for the first time in their history.

The LionsXII hold a slender one-goal lead going into this game, after a 2-1 victory over Terengganu in the first leg at home.

While a draw will be enough to see them through, LionsXII coach Fandi Ahmad believes it would be suicidal for his side to try and defend for the full 90 minutes. Instead, he is planning to go for the kill and grab the opener to pile the pressure on their opponents.

“Definitely we need to score a goal first, so we will go attacking while trying not to concede,” Fandi said.

“We got to be tighter at the back, we got to be compact all the time and the players need to fight for the ball every time.”

Fandi will have a near-full squad to choose from, and he is quietly confident about qualifying for the final because he believes his team are fired up to make it there.

“As a player, you don’t need a coach to motivate you to play in a full stadium during the final. Because if they do, that means something is wrong with them because it is every player’s dream to play in front of full stadium,” he explained.

“This is the last step to the final, and if they give up halfway, then it defeats all the hard work that they have put in so far.”

Experienced forward Khairul Amri also expressed his optimism at qualifying for the final, but he urged his younger teammates to work as hard as they can and not be complacent despite the one-goal lead.

“We are playing away, so the opponents will be really pumped up. We need to run for every ball,” Amri said.

“Technically they are good, they don’t play long ball, they play short passes and it’s hard to defend. We should force them to pump the ball up, because we got fast players and not let them play through the middle.”