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FA Cup

  • February 1, 2014
  • • 19:45
  • • Bishan Stadium, Singapore
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LionsXII 1-2 Pahang: Elephants give Lions first home defeat since 2012

LionsXII 1-2 Pahang: Elephants give Lions first home defeat since 2012

Radi - iimages.my

The Elephants are through to the FA Cup quarter finals, after becoming the first Malaysian team in 19 months to beat LionsXII at Jalan Besar

After only two weeks, last season's Malaysia Cup champions; Pahang played last year's MSL champions LionsXII again after their season opener that went the Elephants' way. This time they met in the second round of the 2014 FA Cup, at Lions' home, the Jalan Besar Stadium.

The action picked up in the 15th minute when Saiful Nizam elbowed Nazrul Nazari when giving chase. Nazrul dropped onto the ground, and so did Saiful, inexplicably, but Saiful escaped unpunished.

In the 19th minute when released Fauzi Roslan with a wonderful through pass, Fauzi could only smack the ball into the palms of goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud. The rebound was headed by Matias Conti towards the goal, but Izwan had already recovered in time to parry the subsequent attempt away to keep the score level.

Pahang had most of the possession throughout the first half, but they could not create a lot of meaningful chances. Their left wing, R. Gopinathan kept getting disposessed by the Lions defenders.

Near the halftime whistle, Lions' hero for the past week; Khairul Amri nearly put them in front. Finding himself lightly marked by Pahang centreback Damion Stewart, he made a low curling shot that could only strike the visitors' goalpost.

Pahang did not have to wait long to find the back of the net in the second half however. In the 50th minute, Azidan Sarudin was fouled just outside the home side box. Hafiz Kamal sent in a very effective freekick that cleared the wall, and dipped into the goal.

Just three minutes later, Azidan doubled their lead. He was teed up by Conti near the exact spot he was fouled earlier, and he struck the ball with his first touch to bury it in the bottom left corner, away from the reach of Izwan.

In the 64th minute, Lions had a chance to pull one back from a low cross by Hafiz Abu Sujad from the right. Substitute Sufian Anuar had the right position in the box to receive the ball, but not the right posture, and he could only send the ball over the bar.

But Lions were closing in on the Pahang danger area, and five minutes later they came close to scoring again from a header by Sufian. However this time Pahang were saved by a last-second save by their goalkeeper Khairul Khalid.

After the same interval, again Lions came close. Safuwan Baharudin headed a bullet of a header courtesy of a cross from the left, but Stewart was in the right place at the right time to block it. It looked as if Stewart's block was unintentional.

Just as Pahang were content on defending their lead, Lions finally pulled one back in the 85th minute. Safuwan curled in a freekick from outside the Pahang penalty box that struck the left post, but in a moment straight out of the FIFA video game series, the ball bounced back and struck the goalkeeper Khairul's head, and ended up in the back of the net.

Despite four minutes being added at the end, the home side could not find the equaliser, even after Amri was presented with a golden chance right before the final whistle. Pahang are now through to the FA Cup quarter finals, after beating LionsXII 2-1 away from home.

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