ATM's Marlon James optimistic about defeating LionsXII in second leg

The Gladiators star striker is positive about his side’s chances of reaching the semi-final of the Malaysia Cup despite losing the first leg 1-0

Despite losing the first leg of their quarter-final 1-0 against league champions LionsXII, ATM FA forward Marlon James believes his side has what it takes to reach the semi-finals of the Malaysia Cup.

James, who was the top scorer in this season’s Malaysia Super League with 16 goals, barely had a sniff on goal against his opponents at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night. But the giant target-man is optimistic about his side’s chances of progressing.

“We have to be positive as we are playing at home,” he said after the game.

“If we want to get to the semi-final we have to score two goals. But we’re feeling positive as other than the goal [conceded], we are pleased with the performance today.”

The 36-year-old did feel that they should not have conceded the way that they did, which was via a corner, but was pleased at how they managed to keep the LionsXII players at bay.

“We came here with a game plan and we knew we had to keep very focused on their set-pieces,” Marlon explained.

“That was probably the only disappointment [conceding the goal]. We made better opportunities and we had some chances that we should’ve taken.

“But overall we were happy [with the performance], especially in the second half as we didn’t let them in behind much."

Looking forward to the second leg, the Saint Vincent and the Grenandines player is confident that it will be a totally different affair.

“I knew today that I wouldn't have the ball that much,” he said.

“When I had it, I tried to hold it as much as possible as the team was very far from me. But it’s going to be a different situation in Selayang.

“We will have a great second game in Selayang, so we are looking forward to that.”

The second leg will be played in Selayang Stadium in Selangor next Friday, October 4.