LionsXII 1-0 Johor FA: Khairul Amri goal seals three points

Johor FA were not given any time to settle down in the game as LionsXII got the crowd on their feet as early as the second minute.

From a freekick in their own half, Baihakki Khaizan sent a long ball that eluded the visitors' defence and onto the path of Khairul Amri who was played onside by K.Shathiya. Khairul needed no invitation as he sent a stinging shot beyond the helpless Zulfadhli Mohamed to make it a goal up for LionsXII.

The home side could have added a second minutes later as Shahdan Sulaiman went on a solo run and capped it off with a thunderous shot from 35 yards but his shot unfortunately went straight into the palm of the Johor FA custodian.

Towards the half hour mark, Sevki Sha’ban almost presented Johor FA with the equaliser as he let the ball past him in the penalty box, unaware that Ezaidy Khadar was lurking behind him. Thankfully for the home side, Izwan Mahbud was able to hold onto the ball from Ezaidy’s attempt at the edge of the six yards box.

After an impressive start to the game, LionsXII lost their momentum and on several occasions allowed the visitors possession and have a taste of attack in the final third.

Johor FA were playing dangerously as the games progressed with their defence playing a very high line in an attempt to catch the LionsXII offside. That was the crux of frustration for the home side as the flag was constantly raised on them.

Zulfadhli kept his side in the game as he pulled off a spectacular save from substitute Firdaus Kasman three minutes before the hour mark.

It was a sigh of relief for the Fandi Ahmad-led team but agony for V. Sundramoorthy as he saw his side miss chance after chance to put the result beyond Johor FA’s reach.

In the last quarter, Shahdan saw his freekick hit the upright while Sevki;s header was cleared away on the line by Faizal Mansor.

Johor FA tried to mount a late search for the equaliser but time was not on their side as the score remained the same till the final whistle. The win put LionsXII in pole position to top Group A as they next travel away to Selangor PKNS on Tuesday September 4.

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