LIONSXII leave it late to grab the win against Perak FA
SINGAPORE, 10 April 2012: LIONSXII continue their unbeaten run in the Malaysian Super League with a 2-1 win over Perak FA in front of 6,408 fans at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday evening.
After coming away with a 0-1 win over Johor last week, The LIONSXII planned to continue the good run in the MSL and they did exactly that with the strongly vocal home crowd behind them.
The first 40 minutes of the match saw the LIONSXII miss out on taking an early lead as they were denied by Perak FA custodian, Khairul Amri and the crossbar.
Looking all set to for a goalless first half, A mix-up between K Nanthakumar and Syazwan Roslan saw Khairul Nizam being brought down for a spot-kick in the 42nd minute. In the absence of Shahril Ishak, Shahdan Sulaiman stepped up and slotted in the first goal for the LIONSXII. The goal certainly allowed the team to breathe easy as they approached the end of the first half.
It took Perak FA just five minutes after the break to get the equalizer as Sevki Sha'ban brought down their forward in the penalty box. The resultant penalty was saved by LIONSXII custodian, Hyrulnizam Juma'at. But he was unable to stop Perak's Michal Kubala as he pounced on the rebound and put it into the back of the net.
With the 12th man cheering them on, LIONSXII displayed the 'never-say-die' attitude and kept surging forward for the winner. They were duly rewarded in the 89th minute when Safuwan Baharudin's header found Irwan Shah on the far left corner, whose quick thinking saw him push the ball past the Perak's goalkeeper, leaving him with a simple yet clever tap into the net to secure his team's win.
The win saw the LIONSXII remain on the top of the Malaysian Super League but have played three more games than second placed Kelantan.
A visibly upset Norizan Bakar, the Perak FA head coach said "The players did well but lapse of concentration in the both halves cost us the match. I think we need to accept the result tonight and move on to next game we have in the league."
Speaking at the post-match press conference, LIONSXII coach V.Sundramoorthy mentioned "I saw the 'never-say-die' attitude from the players today as they kept pushing on despite conceding the penalty and with a bit of luck, we saw Irwan get the better of the bounce and give us the win. Some of the players did look tired after playing back-to back games but they never gave up and I give them credit for doing so. There is a sense of unity in the team and the players believe in themselves and in one another too."
Final Score: LIONSXII 2-1 Perak FA
Starting Line-up for LIONSXII: Hyrulnizam Juma'at, Shaiful Esah, Shahdan Sulaiman, Hariss Harun (C), Irwan Shah, Khairul Nizam (67' Agu Casmir), Safuwan Baharudin, Sevki Sha'ban, Firdaus Kasman (67' Isa Halim) , Shakir Hamzah, Yasir Hanapi (58' Shahril Ishak)
Starting Line-up for Perak FA: Khairul Amri (68' Nasril Nourdin), Shahrom Kalam, Syazwan Roslan, Fahrul Razi (67' Fazrul Hazli), Shahrul Nizam (C), Lazar Popovic, Akmal Rizal, K Nanthakumar, Noor Hazrul Mustafa, Rafiuddin Roddin, Michal Kubala