A narrow 1-0 victory over group leaders Sarawak FA saw the LionsXII move up to second place in Group D and put qualification in their own hands. The result meant that only one point separated all four teams in the group.
But Sarawak coach Robert Alberts felt that the LionsXII deserved their victory over his team.
“I think Singapore (LionsXII) deserved to win,” Alberts admitted.
“We know when you play against Singapore you have to play better. We tried to stop their strengths, [but] we didn’t really succeed in opening up their defense.
“I thought we held them quite well, you saw they had difficulties to break through [the defense], but it was our mistake that cost us the goal."
Nevertheless, Sarawak is still top of the table and very much in control of their qualification hopes. But Alberts is wary of facing Perak FA in their final group game.
“When we played Perak there were so many off-the-field incidents, most people [tend to] lose their concentration, [but] it’s all part of the game,” Alberts said.
The Dutchman is also concerned about the recovery period for his player for Saturday’s game against Perak FA, given that the next game is this weekend.
“Let’s have a look at the damage, it’s not easy to wake up tomorrow for training," he added.
“You know it’s only one day [of rest before training again], Perak got an extra day [of rest].”
The LionsXII, on the other hand, will travel to Kedah FA on Saturday for their last group encounter, knowing that a point could guarantee their progress into the quarterfinals.
However, when asked about the LionsXII's qualification chances, Alberts was similarly cautious about making any predictions.
“I think it is going to be difficult,” he said.
“It is a very difficult match at this stage, and Kedah at home is always dangerous.”