Written By: Kenneth Ho
Safuwan Baharudin came to the LionsXII’s rescue once again after scoring another late winner in the 88th minute to lead them to a 3-2 win over Terengganu FA at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday evening.
Just a week ago, the defender-turned-midfielder did the same when he lashed in a 92nd-minute goal against Johor Darul Ta’zim II at the Pasir Gudang Stadium to give the LionsXII a 2-1 win.
Apart from his late winner, Safuwan also scored the LionsXII’s second equaliser, after Terengganu had taken the lead twice in the first half through Paulo Rangel. Sahil Suhaimi popped up with the game’s second goal and LionsXII’s first equaliser.
The visitors had taken only four minutes to open the scoring, with Rangel hitting the back of the net with a shot from inside the box.
However, they found themselves under heavy pressure thereafter as the LionsXII went on the offensive in a bid to preserve their unbeaten run at home.
The hosts finally got their just reward in the 35th minute, with Sahil Suhaimi curling a placed-shot into the bottom corner to level matters.
But the LionsXII would find themselves trailing once again, with Rangel taking advantage of some slack defending to slot the ball past Izwan Mahbud.
Safuwan had a chance to restore parity just before the half ended but he headed Hafiz Sujad’s cross just wide.
The 24-year-old made no mistake with his next chance, as he latched onto Madhu Mohana’s long throw and headed a looping effort into the top corner to make it 2-2 in the 54th minute.
Continuing their assault at Terengganu’s goal, LionsXII saw Safuwan missing with another header while Nazrul Nazari blasted wide twice.
Determined to grab a win, coach Fandi Ahmad sent on attackers Khairul Nizam, Sufian Anuar and Christopher Van Huizen in a bid to secure the winning goal.
His tactical gamble paid off, with Van Huizen providing a superb delivery to Safuwan in the 88th minute for him to direct another header past Sharbinee Ramli.
LionsXII are still undefeated in the Malaysia Cup, and have recorded one draw and two wins.
They will next play Kedah FA next Friday at the Stadium Darul Aman.
LionsXII: Izwan Mahbud (GK) (C), Madhu Mohana, Hafiz Sujad, Faritz Hameed, Nazrul Nazari (Christopher Van Huizen 75′), Izzdin Shafiq, Faris Ramli, Khairul Amri (Khairul Nizam 72′), Safuwan Baharudin, Sahil Suhaimi (Sufian Anuar 82′), Shakir Hamzah.
Terengganu: Sharbinee Ramli (GK), Muhaimin Omar, Vincent Bikana, Gustavo Lopez, Paulo Rangel (Sharin Sapien 58′), Hasmizan Kamarodin, Zubir Azmi, Ahmad Nordin (C), Ashari Samsudin (Zairo Anuar 66′), Ismail Faruqi (Nasril Izzat 78′), Issey Nakajima