LionsXII Report Card: Attack and Coach

The season is over for the Malaysian Super League champions and Goal Singapore gives our verdict on how the players have performed, ending with the attack and coach
Fazrul Nawaz
Often preferred as the team's lone spearhead in attack this season, Fazrul's meagre return of five league goals looks unflattering for any striker. Then again, the 28-year-old has been never known as a prolific striker and is more valued for his physical presence in the attack and his ability to hold up the ball. Fazrul also scored a crucial winning goal against Sarawak FA in the Malaysia Cup group stages, which they won 1-0, to help them progress to the next round. Apart from his goal tally, the forward has acquitted himself decently in his first Malaysian Super League season.

Shahfiq Ghani
If most people did not know who he was before this season, then Shahfiq Ghani has certainly made local football supporters sit up and take notice by now. An 88th-minute winner against Kelantan FA in a 1-0 victory in March marked a memorable first goal in LionsXII colours, while a sublime free-kick from 35 yards against Perak FA in June was etched into everyone's minds. Six goals in total is a decent return from mostly substitute appearances, and the youngster has shown exciting potential. A silly red card just four minutes after taking to the field for slapping Sarawak FA forward Muamer Salibasic in the Malaysia Cup was a major blemish on his report card though, and the 21-year-old will do well to control his temperament in future.

Shahril Ishak
While the LionsXII captain might not have scored as many as he did last season, Shahril still remained an inspirational figure for the team. Central to most of what was good for the team throughout, nine goals and 11 assists in total made him the main source of goals for them. His playmaking and finishing abilities rank as one of the best in the league, if not Southeast Asia. Credit has to be given to him for stepping up his game after a relatively slow start to the season, and the LionsXII will miss his leadership qualities if he decides to leave them.

Khairul Nizam
Afflicted with injuries for the most part of the season, Nizam's playing time could have been missed in the blink of an eye. But he netted within nine minutes after coming on for his first appearance of the season against PKNS FC in a 3-1 win in May, showing that he has not lost his goalscoring instincts. Nizam would feature only twice more though - both times from the bench - and will hope to put his injury woes behind him when next season begins.

V. Sundramoorthy
Second in the first season, and now champions in his second season. Former Singapore striker Sundram has arguably done wonders after leading a young LionsXII side with only five players over the age of 23 to the league title, thrilling hoardes of hardcore supporters at the Jalan Besar Stadium in the process with a remarkable unbeaten home record. He has been criticised at times for adopting negative, defensive tactics on the road, and that is perhaps one area Sundram can improve on. Having decided not to renew his LionsXII contract, Sundram's coaching abilities will be put through a harder test when he takes charge of Negeri Sembilan in the second-tier Malaysian Premier League next year.