Fandi laments lack of fire-power as wasteful LionsXII draw

Fandi laments lack of fire-power as wasteful LionsXII draw
Although the LionsXII's striker Khairul Amri (front) beat goalkeeper Shahril Sa'ari, he was unable to find the net.

There were no last-minute heroics this time. Not even the consolation of having dominated the game could lift the LionsXII.

The scoreboard read LionsXII 1, T-Team 1. But for the boys in red and white, it was more a case of two points lost than a point gained.

Said coach Fandi Ahmad: "This is the biggest disappointment for us so far this season. I can't believe we were not able to put away the many chances we created in the game."

After two wins in their last two outings, the hosts were looking for their third consecutive win for the first time this season. Up against T-Team, a side without an away point in the Malaysian Super League until Saturday night, a win was there for the taking.

It started well enough, with Shafiq Ghani having a great chance to put team ahead in the first minute to send the 7,268 fans wild. But with the goal at his mercy, he somehow skewed his shot wide.

Despite dominating proceedings after that chance, they were unable to breach the resistance put up by T-Team.

Until the 24th minute, when Safuwan Baharudin scored with a shot from a distance that found its way into the bottom corner of the net.

After taking the lead, they went on to create no less than 10 further chances at goal but failed to convert any of them and were eventually punished for it in the 62nd minute, when T-Team equalised through a Nelson Marcelo Martin free-kick.

Fandi pushed his skipper up front in a last-ditch attempt to find a winner, and Safuwan nearly repaid his coach's faith in him but he dragged his shot just wide in the dying minutes of the game.

He has been pushed forward as a makeshift striker in previous games when his team were in need of goals.

And while this tactic, which gave Singapore a last-minute winning goal against Perak on Tuesday, is something Fandi acknowledges even "the whole of Malaysia knows", he insists he has no other options.

His four strikers - Khairul Amri, Sufian Anuar, Khairul Nizam and Shahfiq - have scored only four times this season, with all the goals coming from Amri alone.

Said Fandi: "My strikers are my biggest worry this season.

"I'm not sure why they aren't scoring enough. Maybe it's because they are not strong mentally and can't play under pressure."


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