Francis Forkey Doe fired a late winner to ensure that the Red Warriors go home with full three points after a close battle at the Jalan Besar Stadium
BY KEESHAANAN SUNDARESAN Follow on Twitter
Both sides started the game on equal tempo, with Kelantan being pretty cautious and fully acknowledging the fact that LionsXII can be very slick on the artificial turf.
The home side went gung ho from the beginning as Gabriel Quak's cross from the flank found Faris Ramli inside the box. The nippy player were adjudged to have been fouled by Obinna Nwaneri, but the referee did not accept calls for a penalty.
Nonetheless, the Lions kept pushing and had a couple of chances that was ultimately saved by Khairul Fahmi. Gabriel Quak's attempt was cleared away to safety while Faris Ramli's speculative shot was dealt with by Apek.
Kelantan were obviously depending on counter attacks, with Francis Forkey Doe being used as the major focal point of their attack, but there seemed to be a struggle in initiating opportunities for the Liberian. That allowed LionsXII to be more dominant, and they did open the scoring on the 25th minute.
Shahfiq Ghani did brilliantly to find Khairul Amri inside the box, and the experienced forward made no mistakes by firing home and sending the home fans into raptures.
Just minutes later, Amri could have doubled LionsXII's lead, but his attempt missed the target by inches this time around. Forkey Doe then came close on the 38th minute mark, but his shot was parried away by Izwan Mahbud.
LionsXII did go into half time with the advantage, but Kelantan came out in the second half, firing on all cylinders. They immediately picked up the tempo, and got the equalizer soon after, as Fakri Saarani showed great predatory instincts to fire home from close range.
The home side responded with a flurry of attacks right after that, but Kelantan's resolute defending was pretty effective in keeping Khairul Amri and co at bay. Obinna in particular, was impressive in leading their defensive line.
But just when everyone though that the game was going to fizzle out into a draw, Forkey Doe proved everyone wrong, by showing great composure to find the back of the net in injury time, giving Kelantan a pivotal away win in Singapore.