LionsXII take home a point against Kedah
SINGAPORE, 12 May 2012: LionsXII earned just a point against Kedah FA in front of 7,328 fans at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday evening.
The LionsXII failed to extend their lead on the table over Kelantan FA and build on the 2-0 win over Felda United on Tuesday.
The league leaders had a good start to the game, and opened their scoring account as early as the ninth minute. Right-back Madhu Mohana's long throw was flicked on by Baihakki Khaizan towards the far post, and the unmarked Captain Marvel, Shahril Ishak stole in to bundle the ball over the line with an acrobatic effort.
However, Shahril injured himself in the process of scoring the goal, and was replaced by Sufian Anuar, who would go on to score a goal later on.
It was Kedah who managed to sneak in a goal at the other end first, when Baddrol Bakhtiar's cross was headed in by Khyril Muhymeen, who escaped the attention of the LionsXII defenders.
The home side took the lead again seven minutes later. Juma'at Jantan went past Sabre Mat Abu on the right brilliantly before producing a superb cross, which was headed in by Sufian.
Kedah threatened to equalize five minutes after the restart, but Abdel Fatah's fierce shot from just outside the box was tipped over by LionsXII goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud.
The LionsXII then extended their lead seven minutes later. Attacking midfielder Shahdan Sulaiman's pinpoint delivery from a set piece was headed right into the top corner by stand-in captain Baihakki.
While it seemed as though a 3-1 lead was sufficient to secure three points, two great strikes from Kedah in four minutes leveled things up. On the counter attack in the 61st minute, Kedah pushed forward in numbers.
With the home side's defenders failing to get back in time, Amar Rohidan blasted an unstoppable shot into the top corner after Vedran Gerc set him up with a square pass.
Three minutes later, it was Gerc who scored the equalizer. From twenty five yards out, he fired in a precise shot into the bottom corner, beyond the reach of Izwan's outstretched arms.
In the last 25 minutes, both teams went and each other and had chances to take the lead, but alas, it was not meant to be.
A visibly happy Kedah head coach Wan Jamak Wan Hassan felt that his team did well to earn a point. He said, "We know Lions is a very good team in their own den and to have a draw after being down a few times, I think it's a bonus for us."
LionsXII head coach V Sundramoorthy on the other hand, felt disappointed as he said, "It's tough. We will keep going on. After leading 3-1 then letting the lead slip to 3-3 was very disappointing. But we have to pick ourselves up and try to gain more points in the run up to the end of the season."
Final score: LionsXII 3-3 Kedah FA
For match details, http://www.lionsxii.sg/match/report/id/20