Sundram: It is special to beat treble-winners Kelantan

The LionsXII coach hailed the hard-earned three points over a side that swept all Malaysian domestic honours last season in a tight game that could have gone either way
By Teng Kiat

A last-gasp winner from Shahfiq Ghani handed the LionsXII a 1-0 victory over Kelantan FA on Saturday night at the Jalan Besar Stadium, as they made it four wins out of four at home in the Malaysian Super League (MSL) this season.

LionsXII coach V. Sundramoorthy hailed his charges for the win over a side he claimed was “the best” in the league as he spoke to the media after the game.

“They are the best team,” he said. “They have two good foreign players [and the match was] well balanced and it was very tight; it could have gone either way.

“It was a hard-earned three points tonight… beating the treble champions of Malaysia is special for us.”

The former Singapore international also pointed out the presence of at least one goal poacher in all the other top MSL teams, but claimed he didn’t mind as long as his team “keep our feet on the ground and collect the points”.

“Obviously, if we have a foreign striker it will solve the problem, but we must develop our local talent n they will be the future for Singapore.” Sundram said.

With their opponents having played in midweek, Sundram explained that he tried to exploit any tiredness by bringing on Gabriel Quak, Safirul Sulaiman and Fazrul Nawaz in the second half.

“The turning point was the last 25 minutes of the game,” he declared. “They had played in midweek and I felt that was the time to bring in fresh legs and help us make something [chances].

Sundram also lavished praise on the “talented” Shahfiq for scoring “a great goal” and believes the strike will further boost the striker’s confidence in future matches.

The MSL will take a break for the next two weeks due to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers and will resume at the end of this month.