“I think it was really a big impact.” That was the answer LionsXll coach V. Sundramoothy gave when quizzed about the early injuries sustained by key-players Shahril Ishak and Juma’at Jantan.
In the six-goal thriller against Kedah FA, captain Shahril drew first blood by stabbing home a cross in the 9th minute but unfortunately for the home side, the midfielder clashed against the goalpost and had to be stretchered off due to a suspected shoulder dislocation.
Half an hour later, defender Juma’at Jantan also had to leave the action, as he suffered from dizzy spells and a black out. It was later confirmed that both players were rushed to the hospital immediately after being substituted.
Speaking to the press after the game, Sundram bemoaned the loss of the players early in the first half.
“I think it was really a big impact. Not only Shahril, we are missing the presence of Harris [Harun] in the middle of the park, where he can put himself around, especially with Abdel Fatah Safi [pulling the strings for Kedah in the middle].
“[We missed] Shahril’s influence upfront and after Juma’at went off, we have to reorganize our tactics, but still we got the lead, but unfortunately, couldn’t keep it.”
When asked about the injuries the two players sustained, he replied, “Juma’at should be okay, he was feeling giddy but we have to check on Shahril, I am not sure about the updates on him.”
The LionsXII squad has suffered in spells this season due to injury and coach Sundram will be sweating on the fitness of his players as he attempts to continue the LionsXII's title challenge with victory against Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.