The Dazzler heaped praise on the injury-stricken striker who had netted twice in the last two home matches and contributed the match-winning goal against Johor FAAn early goal from LionsXII forward, Khairul Amri, in under three minutes saw the Lions XII cruise to an easy victory over Johor FA and extend their lead in the group, much to the delight of the strong home support at Jalan Besar Stadium.
Unsatisfied with just one goal, the LionsXII were relentless in their attack, especially in the second half. The home side thrilled the 4,832-strong crowd with their constant pursuit for more goals.
Unfortunately, Lady Luck was not smiling down on them, as they failed to hit the back of the net again.
The visitors also had plenty of chances. Johor FA team manager, Fandi Ahmad, was resoundingly delighted with his team’s performance for the night: “I thought it was a very exciting game and the first goal caught us by surprise. But we gave a good fight, we had a fair amount of chances and we created a lot as well. And we did not sit back, but we attacked.”
“We want to enjoy the game, and obviously we’d like to win and entertain the fans. But all is not lost for us and we still have hope, and that will depend on the Lions who still have to play PKNS and Johor FC.”
“But I’m very happy with the performance. The players gave more then a hundred percent and they had a good, positive attitude."
Speaking about Khairul Amri’s goal, the former Singapore striker complimented Amri’s good run and reading of the pass that lead to an equally good finish.
Coach Sundramoothy of the LionsXII, was also happy with his team’s performance and stressed the importance to look forward.
“In the Malaysia Cup, the small teams will raise up the tempo," said the Malaysia Cup legend.
"As we know, Johor FA needed the win to keep themselves in the race. As the game went on, they threw in more and more strikers to try and score an equaliser.
“For us getting the goal early and trying to defend it was quite difficult. But we’ve collected the points and it’s important to look forward to the next game.”
He is also optimistic about the chances of progressing far into the Malaysia Cup adding: “The chances of progressing are now very high. We still have a few games and hopefully we can get something in KL and put one foot in the quarter-finals.”
In response to Amri’s goal, the Lions XII coach commented on the great goal scored by his forward.
“He gave no chance for the keeper to react," beamed a proud Sundram.
"It’s good for him because he’s been out of it for quite sometime and this would give him the boost to go out and perform better.”
LionsXII's next match will be away against Selangor PKNS this Tuesday.