|By Khalis Rifhan
LionsXII captain Shahril Ishak’s winner against Negeri Sembilan on Saturday lifted the side to the top of the table, a point ahead of ATM FA and Johor Darul Takzim and with a game in hand.
Shahril who scored his second goal of the current campaign, the first coming against ATM FA on the opening day of the season, felt that the team worked hard for the victory and also credited the 12th men for their support since day one.
“Of course we feel good as a team and credits to all the players for their performance,” said Shahril to Goal.com Singapore.
“First half we were a bit sloppy and the second half, we got back stronger and proved that we can make the difference.
“Obviously this result is not only about the team, it is also because of the fans who made it possible. Now that we are at the top, hopefully we will do well also in the next game.”
But the match was marred with boos around the stadium as there were several stoppages due to non-stop injuries sustained by the Negeri Sembilan players.
While there was a hint of play-acting and time wasting by the visitors, especially their lone striker Emmanuel De Porass who bore the brunt of the LionsXII for his series of ‘injuries’ during the game, Shahril felt that he has a responsibility to maintain a moral high ground for his team.
“Definitely we were frustrated and we want to attack but it happens," he said.
"Sometimes we never know if the player is seriously injured or not. It is all about fair play and we want to focus on our football, that’s all."
LionsXII will next face Perak FA at the Jalan Besar Stadium on April 6 and V.Sundramoorthy’s men will open a four point lead at the top of the table should they grab all three points.