Johor FA 0-0 LionsXII: LionsXII survive Johor FA onslaught to earn a precious away point

In the opening minutes, Shaiful Esah did well to wriggle his way round the defence before playing a low ball into the box but Shahril Ishak was not able to connect well and saw his attempt trickle woefully away from goal.

The positive opening was not to be an indication of how the game would progress however, as the home side enjoyed the bulk of possession in the first half, leaving LionsXII depending on the counter attacks.

Izwan Mahbud was soon tested as Ahmad Syamim Yahya managed to free himself from his markers and send a low driven shot on goal which was palmed away by the LionsXII custodian.

Former Ferencvarosi TC player, Andre Francisco teamed up well with Argentinian Muriel Orlando in the 27th minute as they ventured into the final third, but Baihaakki Khaizan was ever present to ensure that the score remained goalless, keeping LionsXII in the game.

The home side were left fuming just past the half hour mark as Ezrie Shafize looked to have been tripped in the penalty box by Madhu Mohana but the referee was left unconvinced and waved on for play to continue.

The visitor’s lone man upfront, captain Shahril, was a frustrated figure as he was caught offside several times while attempting to latch on to the long ball from midfield.

But as predictable as the long ball tactic might have been, a defensive mistake ten minutes into the second half by Johor FA almost led to the opening goal of the game.

Shahril got onto the end of an attempted clearance by the home defence but goalkeeper Zulfadhil Mohd did well to rush out and prevent the shot from hitting the back of the net.

In the latter stages of the second half, substitute Yusri Abas squandered a golden opportunity as he headed the ball over the crossbar with an empty goalmouth beckoning.

With the draw, LionsXII have collected 5 points in the opening 3 games. They will meet Johor FA again this Saturday at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

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