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  • July 14, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore
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LionsXII 0-1 Johor FC: Luckless LionsXII fall to a mediocre Johor FC

LionsXII 0-1 Johor FC: Luckless LionsXII fall to a mediocre Johor FC

Zeng Liwei

Despite dominating possession throughout the match, the team's poor finishing and lack of composure ultimately let them down.

The LionsXII wrapped up their inaugural MSL season on a sour note as they conspired to lose against a largely mediocre Johor FC.

The home team started brightly, dominating possession for much of the match. Following their 2-1 defeat to T-Team, normal services looked to have resumed with Hariss Harun pulling the strings in the midfield.

In the 17th minute, Hariss split the visitor’s defence with a wicked through ball. Unfortunately, the recipient Sufian Anuar strayed a fraction offside, putting an end to what would have been a glorious move.

Despite the Lions’ dominance, it was Johor who made the first breakthrough.

Against the run of play, Johor midfielder Jasazrin takes the ball down the left wing before cutting it back for Shahrizal. His shot takes an deflection off a charging Sev’ki and bounces past Hyrulnizam.

LionsXII looked to answer right back as they lay siege to the Johor goal with a slew of free kicks and corners. However, their finishing let them down.

Khairul Amri, who was mostly ineffective, summed up the Lions’ efforts in the first half. In the 33rd minute, a corner fell to the unmarked Amri but he fired over the bar from 10 yards.

At the break, Sundram brought off the anonymous Amri and replaced him with Khairul Nizam.

The LionsXII restarted the game with renewed purpose as they pushed for the equalizer.

Nizam looked to have made an instant impact as he harried the Johor defender into a corner. Hariss was able to get his head to it but it just wide of the post.

As the game wore on, the LionsXII grew more desperate and committed more and more men forward.

In the 53rd minute, they were nearly punished for poor marking as they gave goal-scorer Shahrizal a free header in the box, but he headed it over.

The pressure mounted on Johor as the Lions were gifted plenty of chances from set pieces, but they simply could not finish.

In the 73rd minute, a corner was laid off to Yasir Hanapi whose shot from distance was palmed away by Johor goalkeeper Zamir. The rebound fell to an unmarked Baihakki, who volleyed over from six yards. 

Similarly in the dying minutes, Hariss capitalized on a dreadful clearance from Fernando Augusto but his shot was just wide of the post.

That move pretty much summed the LionsXII game against Johor. Chances were aplenty but the team just need a little bit more luck and composure in front of goal.

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