MSL leaders LionXII are left to rue missed chances and defensive frailties as they let a two-goal lead slip to draw 3-3 with Kedah FA in a lively clashTwo goals in five minutes helped Kedah claw back from 3-1 down to hold the LionsXII in a feisty clash at a packed Jalan Besar stadium. The draw does the Lions' little favour as they give second-placed Kelantan less ground to catch up when they play their games in hand.
Having lost to Kelantan in Kota Bahru last week, the Lions bounced back in style beating PKNS FC 2-0 on Tuesday but lost valuable ground after being disappointedly held by Kedah.
The game started in a lively manner with the Lions seizing the lead on nine minutes. A long throw by Madhu Mohana was flicked on by Baihakki Khaizan to the far post and Shahril Ishak was on hand to stab the ball home. The goal brought cheers to the Jalan Besar faithful but it was short-lived as Shahril had to be stretchered off for a suspected shoulder dislocation with Sufian Anuar replacing him.
The goal increased the tempo of the game and both teams began to find their feet and passing game. Kedah got an equaliser on twenty minutes, somewhat against the run of play. Captain Baddrol Bakthiar crossed invitingly and forward Khyril Muhymeen connected with a header to leave keeper Izwan rooted.
The Lions restored their lead after a great flowing move, a move similar to Kedah's first goal. Juma'at Jantan created space for himself on the right and put in a great delivery for Sufian Anuar to finish with his trademark header. The goal gave the Lions greater impetus and it showed in their play.
Lions coach Sundram was forced into another change before half-time as Juma'at was unable to continue after suffering dizzy spells with Yasir Hanapi coming on in his place.
The half ended at 2-1 with both sides going close with efforts but unable to add to the scoreline.
The second half started with a quick tempo with both sides looking for another goal. The Lions were the first to strike with Baihakki meeting Shahdan's vicious free kick with a firm header to make it 3-1.
But the celebrations were short-lived as Kedah mounted a remarkable comeback with two goals in five minutes.
Vedran Gerc who was bright upfront for Kedah, setup Amar Rohidan who struck his first-time effort sweetly to reduce the deficit on sixty-one minutes.
Five minutes later Gerc himself struck gold firing low and hard past the despairing dive of Izwan.
The goals from Kedah rocked the home team but they could not surmount a comeback and time eventually ran out for them.
With Kelantan beating PKNS FC 3-0, the Lions' lead has been cut to three points having played four games more. The Lions next face Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday and will be looking to pick up maximum points against the leagues' bottom-side.