LionsXII 1-0 Sarawak
(Khairul Nizam 69′)
Written By: Kenneth Ho
SINGAPORE, 25 APRIL 2015: Khairul Nizam maintained his good form since his return from injury as his solitary strike gave LionsXII a 1-0 victory over Sarawak.
The striker headed home the winner in the 59th minute to net his third goal in five games and gave LionsXII their first win in the league since their opening day triumph over PDRM.
Both sides were evenly matched in the first half and as a result, chances were few and far between.
There were a few occasions Firdaus Kasman split Sarawak’s defence open with his passes, but the visitors’ goalkeeper Fadzley Rahim was always ready to race off his line and claim the ball.
Sarawak had the ball in the net in the 40th minute, but Ryan Griffiths’ effort was chalked off after he was flagged offside.
Just minutes later, Nizam almost opened the scoring but was unable to get a touch on Amri’s deflected cross-shot.
The game opened up a little bit more in the second half, with LionsXII close to taking the lead shortly after the restart.
Amri found himself in a good position to break the deadlock but his tame effort was comfortably collected by Fadzley.
Amri was then a tad unfortunate to slip in the box after Nizam had cushioned Firdaus’ cross down for the unmarked striker.
However, he soon made up for it by creating the solitary goal of the game. Marauding down the flank, Amri swept in a cross which rebounded off Ronny Harun and fell for Nizam to head home.
Despite leading the game, the LionsXII had captain Izwan Mahbud to thank for securing all three points as he came to his side’s rescue by pushing away a fierce shot from Shreen Thambi.
Nizam should have killed off the game in the 77th minute when he was left with only Fadzley to beat, but the striker miscontrolled the ball and sent it towards the custodian instead.
The LionsXII were given a huge let off eight minutes from time, as Nazri Mamal contrived to put his header wide from a mere seven yards out. It proved to be the final real chance of the game as the Singapore team held on to get an important win.