Fandi still winless as LionsXII crash to Persis

The reigning Malaysian Super League champions were thumped 3-0 by Indonesia Premier League opponents in the first of their three-match pre-season training tour in the country
New LionsXII coach Fandi Ahmad is still waiting for his first win after his side was defeated 3-0 by Indonesia Premier League (IPL) side Persis Solo FC in the first match of their training tour at the Manahan Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The reigning Malaysian Super League (MSL) champions, who were without several key players due to injuries and unavailability, conceded the first goal in the 27th minute after Diego Santos’ ball from a free-kick was headed in by trialist Marcello Cirelli.

The LionsXII went 2-0 down two minutes after the restart as Faritz Hameed conceded a penalty after fouling Yanuar Ruspuspito. Ferry Anto made no mistake from the spot, sending Izwan Mahbud the wrong way.

Yanuar scored the final goal in injury time as his strike from outside the penalty box beat substitute goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad.

This is the second game Fandi’s team has lost after they were beaten 3-1 by the Courts Young Lions in their first pre-season friendly match on Tuesday.  

Despite the loss, Fandi was satisfied with the performance, saying that the young players who were given a chance played well.

"They can be counted on to face competition next season," Fandi said.

As for Persis, the victory was a perfect debut for new coach Widiantoro.

"We remain grateful for this victory,” Widiantoro said.

“But there is still much to be improved. We have effectively practiced only a few times," said Widiantoro.

The LionsXII next play IPL sides PPSM Malegang on Tuesday, January 7 and PSS Sleman on Friday, January 10.