|By Kenneth Tan and Kenneth Ho
It was ATM FA who ended the LionsXII's maiden Malaysia Cup adventure – a barnstorming affair in the semi-final's second leg at the Selayang Stadium, which was cruelly decided by Yasir Hanapi’s penalty miss.
As fate would have it, the V. Sundramoorthy's side will be up against the same opponents in the opening fixture of their Malaysian Super League [MSL] campaign in 2013.
The full list of fixtures for the upcoming MSL season was announced this morning, following a two-day conference involving all league officials of the participating teams.
The season opener against newly-promoted ATM FA is scheduled for Wednesday, January 9, before Sundram's men travel back to Singapore for their first home game of the season three days later as they face arch-rivals Selangor.
LionsXII fans should also mark down two significant dates on their 2013 calendar – Tuesday, February 19 and Saturdaym June 22, where they will take on Johor Darul Takzim away and at home respectively.
Boasting new recruits like Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Simone Del Nero and former Spain striker Dani Guiza, and led by local legend Fandi Ahmad, the two clashes should be mouth-watering affairs.
The LionsXII will end the season on July 6 with a visit to last season’s Treble winners Kelantan, and that clash might turn out to be a title-decider.
Lions XII’s 2013 MSL Fixtures [As per official fixtures list released on Dec 29]
January 9: ATM FA vs LionsXII (Paroi)
January 12: LionsXII vs Selangor (Jalan Besar Stadium)
January 15: Selangor PKNS vs LionsXII (Stadium Shah Alam)
January 19: LionsXII vs Terengganu (Jalan Besar Stadium)
January 22: PBDKT T-Team vs LionsXII (Stadium Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah)
February 15: LionsXII vs Pahang (Jalan Besar Stadium)
February 19: Johor Darul Takzim vs LionsXII (Larkin Stadium)
February 23: LionsXII vs Perak (Jalan Besar Stadium)
March 1: Felda United vs LionsXII (Stadium Petaling Jaya, Kelana Jaya)
March 9: LionsXII vs Kelantan (Jalan Besar Stadium)
March 29: LionsXII vs Negeri Sembilan (Jalan Besar Stadium)
April 12: Negeri Sembilan vs LionsXII (Paroi)
April 20: LionsXII vs ATM FA (Jalan Besar Stadium)
April 27: Selangor vs LionsXII (Stadium Shah Alam)
May 3: LionsXII vs Selangor PKNS (Jalan Besar Stadium)
May 7: Terengganu vs LionsXII (Stadium Sultan Ismail Nasirrudin Shah)
May 10: LionsXII vs PBDKT T-Team (Jalan Besar Stadium)
May 17: Pahang vs LionsXII (Stadium Darul Makmur)
June 22: LionsXII vs Johor Darul Takzim (Jalan Besar Stadium)
June 25: Perak vs LionsXII (Stadium Ipoh)
July 2: LionsXII vs Felda United (Jalan Besar Stadium)
July 6: Kelantan vs LionsXII (Stadium Sultan Muhammad IV)