Fandi hauls up goal-shy strikers

Fandi hauls up goal-shy strikers

The LionsXII's misfiring strikers were targeted for extra practice in front of goal after training.

The quartet - Khairul Amri, Shahfiq Ghani, Sufian Anuar and Khairul Nizam - have registered just four goals in 10 Malaysian Super League (MSL) matches so far.

Worse still, all four goals came from Amri.

With his frontline drawing yet another blank in last Saturday's 1-1 home draw with T-Team, LionsXII coach Fandi Ahmad has demanded that his strikers display far more composure in putting the ball into the back of the net.

"They're getting their execution wrong, opting for power instead of technique and accuracy when presented with a chance," said Fandi ahead of tonight's away game against Sime Darby FC.

"That is why we are doing extra finishing practice with them after training - to drill into them the need to go for technique and accuracy first before power."

The ex-national striker will be hoping that the extra work will help his strikers get back among the goals tonight.

A win over the side who lie eighth in the 12-team table can lift Fandi's men up three places to second if other results go their way.

Furthermore, the newly-promoted team have already conceded 15 goals so far - the second-leakiest defence in the league - and tonight's match may well provide the platform for the likes of Shahfiq to get on the scoresheet.

The 22-year-old bagged his first goal of the year while representing the Singapore Under-23 side in a friendly against the Indonesia U-23s on Wednesday.

"This goal is a long-awaited one, especially after I missed a few chances in the last MSL game," said Shahfiq.

"Now that I got the first goal, I'm hoping this is the start of a good run of scoring form."

Meanwhile, Amri is also aiming for some good fortune after he was denied a goal by the upright in the draw with T-Team. He also missed a hatful of chances.

That miss stretched his dry spell in front of goal to four games and the 29-year-old is desperate for a turnaround.

"If the ball doesn't go in, it's just not meant to be. That's football sometimes," he said.

"But I want to score so badly. Four games without a goal is too long for a striker.

"I don't care if my next goal goes in off my thigh or some other part of my body, just as long as I get a goal.

"Once I do that, the goals will start flowing again."

terong@sph.com.sg

This article was published on April 5 in The Straits Times.

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