Sundram: Kedah draw feels like a loss

The LionsXII coach rued letting a 2-1 lead slip in the dying minutes but backed his team to bounce back in the remaining Malaysia Cup group games
LionsXII coach V. Sundramoorthy was a disappointed man after seeing his team concede a last-gasp penalty against Kedah FA as they drew 2-2 in their Malaysia Cup opener on Tuesday night.

His side had turned the Jalan Besar Stadium into a fortress in their victorious Malaysian Super League (MSL) campaign, having dropped only two points throughout the 2013 season.

"In Jalan Besar, if some teams can try to take points from us then it’s like a loss, la," Sundram candidly admitted.

"We were 2-1 up and we should have just slowed down the game but we were unlucky to concede the goal.

"No doubt I am disappointed [as] we were supposed to get the three points but that’s football, we need to pick up ourselves and move on."

The former Singapore international refused to single out any individuals as he praised the team's collective efforts and pointed out they still had five more games to go.

"This is the start of the campaign, the boys tried their best and it's not the end of the world," Sundram said.

"We need to go to Sarawak and Perak and come out with something and it's not gonna be an easy ride, definitely.

"They have done very well, they fought for everything... We have five games more so let's give it our best shot and see how far we can progress."

Sundram also acknowledged that while the competition was "all about emotions", his charges have to calm down and not let their feelings get the better of them.

"I believe we should control our emotions and [focus on] try[ing] to play the game," he said.

"When the game gets heated up, everyone gets spirited and try to put in tackles but that’s part of football.

"For me, the pleasing part is that we never gave up and they tried their best, and I give credit to the boys and I believe they will become better in the second game."

Skipper Shahril Ishak was stretchered off in the second half with suspected strained ligaments, but Sundram said a more detailed assessment would have to be done to determine the exact nature of injury.

The MSL champions will take on Malaysian Premier League champions Sarawak FA next in their second Group D game on Saturday in Kuching.