LionsXII enjoy lucky win

LionsXII enjoy lucky win
Goal-winner Safuwan Baharudin, celebrating his strike last night, admitted that LionsXII had their fair share of good fortune against Perak.

In the end, it was job done for coach V.Sundramoorthy and his LionsXII at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

But even as they celebrated a 2-1 win over Perak that got their Malaysia Cup group-stage campaign back on track, it was impossible to ignore the part that luck played.

Indeed, all the questions at the post-match press conference centred on what-ifs that could so easily have seen the match turn out very differently.

What if Perak striker Paulo Rangel's header, with the score at 1-1, been adjudged to have crossed the line as television replays suggested?

"Yes," the Brazilian said with certainty when asked if it should have been a goal. "For sure."

Sundram, on the other hand, took a light-hearted view of the incident. "I couldn't see it", the 47-year-old said. "But even if it had gone in, I'd say no."

That said, the LionsXII coach certainly saw Khairul Asyraf Shaizah's stoppage-time header, which flew just past a stranded Izwan Mahbud's right-hand post.

"At that moment, I thought, 'Okay, my luck has changed at last'," Sundram later recalled. "In the first three games, that ball would have gone in."

Even without going into hypotheticals, it would be impossible to deny that apart from last night's victory, the LionsXII's Malaysia Cup campaign had been hinging on disaster.

One draw and two defeats in their opening three matches saw the Malaysian Super League champions go into last night's match rock bottom of Group D, their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals hanging by a thread.

"Our morale was down," Sundram admitted. "The boys needed this win for confidence."

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