Johor FC 0-0 LionsXII: Stalemate for Lions in Pasir Gudang

It might have been a well-deserved and hard earned away point for LionsXII in their Malaysia Cup opener against Johor FC, but the numerous chances that were created and missed painted a picture of agony and frustration for coach V. Sundramoorthy.

The visitors started the game with plenty of opportunities to take the lead but the lack of finishing and a superb performance in goal by Johor FC custodian Zamir Selamat kept the visitors at bay.

Seven minutes in, patient build up play by LionsXII centred around Shahril Ishak saw the visitors using the full length of the pitch for their attack.

Shahril decided that it was enough of running for him as he laid off the ball perfectly for Shahdan Sulaiman at the edge of the penalty box but the latter could only scuff his shot wide after a well-crafted attacking play by his teammate.

Minutes later, a nudge on the back by Yasir Hanapi on Haris Safwan presented the hosts with a freekick 20 yards from goal. Haris took responsibility for the freekick and saw his effort tipped away by Hyrulnizam Juma'at.

Shahdan was once again guilty of missing a golden opportunity as he got onto the end of the ball after the Johor defence committed a blunder while attempting to clear the ball in the 24th minute of the game. With ample  space in the penalty box, Shahdan decided to hit it at first attempt and saw his effort glance inches above the crossbar.
 
Three minutes after the half hour mark, Shahril was again on his trademark run towards goal before squaring the ball to Irwan Shah on the far left of the penalty box. But once again, they were let down by poor finishing as Irwan shot straight into the palms of the goalkeeper.

It was a case of miss after miss as after the hour mark, it was Harris Harun’s turn to put his name onto the guilty sheet, as his shot went wide after the goalkeeper was caught in no man’s land. Sevki would also miss a similar effort late in the game with a diving header from close range.

LionsXII were nearly punished for their lack of finishing in front of goal as substitute Arturo Henrique chested the ball well from a cross from the left and unfortunately for the home side, the shot went beyond the side netting.

Both sides earned a point each from the goalless draw and they will resume their Malaysia Cup campaign on Saturday with LionsXII hosting Selangor PKNS and Johor FC travelling away to Johor FA.

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