'LionsXII can be champions' - Perak coach Azraai Khor

Azraai Khor felt that his side deserved to lose while he tipped LionsXII to be champions of the Malaysian Super League
By Khalis Rifhan

The future looks bleak for Perak as they succumbed to their third successive defeat in the Malaysian Super League, the latest a 2-1 defeat to LionsXII at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night. 

For coach Azraai Khor, he did not mince his words when he said that his team deserved to go away empty-handed against the league leaders.

"My team played very badly today and we conceded two simple goals which to me, didn't make sense," he said matter-of-factly.

"For the second goal, how can our player stop the ball and allow their striker to score the goal?

"There is lots of homework to be done for future matches. The LionsXII deserved the win as they played better.

"Hopefully the players that are not with us today, especially Suppiah Chanturu, Veeran Thirumurugan and Nasir Basharuddin will be around for the second round."

When asked by the media whether V. Sundramoorthy's boys are able to go all the way till the end and clinch the title, Azraai said: "Maybe yes and if they can maintain their consistency, I don’t see any reason why they can’t go [to win the title]."

"But when starting the second round, many teams will have new signings and definitely if they want to be the league champions they have to work hard.

"I believe Sundram has done a great job in his second season with LionsXII with a good combination between the experienced players and the young, talented ones."

It was also pointed out that the LionsXII did not put a foot wrong in the match except for the mini-scuffle that followed soon after Rafiuddin Roddin’s consolation goal in the dying seconds of the match. 

"If a football team only has one weakness in the game, then it is very good but in football it is normal for mistakes here and there," Azraai pointed out.

"Players could not control their emotions and later on, they regret. You have to control your emotions and focus in the game but sometimes things like this happen.

"To be a champion, you have to act like one otherwise you will start getting cards.

"You need character to be champions."

Perak will next host Selangor PKNS on April 12 at in Ipoh while LionsXII will travel to Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi to take on Negeri Sembilan.