LionsXII coach, Sundram nearly runs out of words to describe his side's ruthless 9-0 drubbing of Sabah FA. Sabah's Justin Ganai concedes the LionsXII were simply unstoppableSabah FA coach, Justin Ganai, cut a dejected figure in the press conference. His relegation-threatened team were handed a sound 9-0 drubbing by a superior LionsXII.
“We tried our best, but we knew Singapore [LionsXII] is a very good team," said Ganai.
"We just did not have an answer to them tonight.”
He conceded it was a struggle to motivate his players to finish the game. Although some players still pressed on, it seemed as if the Sabah team had conceded the game long before the final whistle was blown.
The LionsXII ruthlessly punished Sabah for every misplaced pass and inch of space afforded to them on the counter.
“Some of them [Sabah players] did appear to give up, while some were still fighting not to be embarrassed," he continued.
"But we could not match Singapore.
“A few players cannot stand the pressure [from the relegation battle]. It is probably why we folded and gave up.”
Ganai though continues to remain optimistic for their next game. It will be an uphill task to inspire his team to bounce back from this crushing defeat.
“We will obviously have to prepare for the next game against PKNS and try to put this humiliating loss behind us," he told Goal.com
"The next match we are playing at home in Kota Kinabalu and hopefully we can get a win there.”
The typically deadpan Lions’ coach Sundramoorthy was delighted with his side’s killer instinct, almost running out of words to describe the game.
“It was a great win for us tonight," said Sundram.
"We erased the painful memories of that loss to Malaysia and rewarded the fans with our goals scored. I can’t ask any more from the team. Nine goals, it was simply amazing.”
He admitted he was surprised at the lack of fight found in the usually spirited Sabah FA.
“Definitely, I am surprised [that Sabah seemed to shut down]," he said.
"The past few times I have seen Sabah play, they have been a good attacking team and they always give a good fight against all their opponents. But today, somehow, we played much better and had the better finishing.”
Striker Agu Casmir and skipper Hariss Harun were singled out for praise by their coach after putting in near flawless performances for the Lions.
“Agu played a fine game today," said Sundram of his forward.
"He assisted three goals and got on the scoresheet. I think he just needs a couple more games under his belt to hit full form.
“He was suffering from a lack of confidence earlier this season with his injuries. A striker like him just needs that one goal to get going. He got that in our previous game and another today.
"He’s got his confidence back and been working hard at training; the goals should begin to flow now.
“I am happy for him [Hariss Harun] that he got a hat-trick.
"We all know Hariss is a very committed player and makes plenty of runs into the box. He was absolutely clinical today, especially when he burst through and placed the ball at the far post. It was a fantastic goal and I am delighted for him.”
LionsXII will next face Terengganu on June 19.