The LionsXII were held to a goal-less draw by Sarawak FA on Saturday in their penultimate home game in the Malaysia Super League (MSL) on Saturday, where poor finishing cost the hosts a victory.
Coach Fandi Ahmad apologised for disappointing the fans after the game, which saw them fail to make the best of their opportunities in front of goal.
“We didn’t play the best football, but we created chances and should have won the game,” Fandi said. "We created our chances but simply couldn’t finish them.
“We were just afraid of their counter-attacks; they defended very well, but due to our bad decisions in the final third, we didn’t finish the game off.”
Touching on individual performances, the LionsXII coach was pleased with the likes Baihakki Khaizan, Raihan Rahman and Gabriel Quak, although he added that the latter two could have done better.
Fandi also stated that the team would strive to finish in the top 10 in order to avoid the play-offs for the Malaysia Cup, with the bottom two sides needing to face off against the fifth and sixth-placed teams in the Premier League to qualify. The LionsXII lie eighth with 19 games played and three more points will likely secure their place in the Cup proper.
Robert Alberts on the other hand, much like every visiting coach to the Jalan Besar Stadium, was full of smiles after seeing his side pick up a point.
The Dutchman shared that his charges have reached their target for the season after only securing promotion to the top flight last season.
“[With the result] we keep them (LionsXII) four points behind us and we are safe for the MSL [this season], we’ve reached our target,” Alberts enthused.
With regards to his side’s showing against the defending champions, he felt that it was a very good point earned.
“It’s not easy to come away in Singapore with a point,” the 59-year-old said.
"The LionsXII had some good moves but I thought we defended well and there wasn’t much space for them.”