LionsXII to miss Sahil, Faris again

LionsXII to miss Sahil, Faris again
Striker Sufian Anuar (far left) pulling up in training yesterday with a hamstring problem.

Coach Fandi puts them through paces at training, but duo slated to play for U-23s on Saturday

Forwards Sahil Suhaimi and Faris Ramli trained with the LionsXII at Yishun Stadium yesterday evening.

But they are unsure if they would play for the team against Perak in a Malaysian Super League (MSL) match in Ipoh on Saturday.

Because the duo, who were called up to the Singapore Under-23s for the match against Japan's Under-22s last Saturday, which they lost 8-1, are set to play for the South-east Asia (SEA) Games squad again.

The Football Association of Singapore announced last night that the duo will be part of the Under-23 squad for the match against Syria's Under-23 on Saturday.

At yesterday's LionsXII's training session, both Sahil and Faris were being put through their paces by coach Fandi Ahmad.

But, when approached by The New Paper, neither of them had any clue which team they would be turning out for at the weekend.

Speaking to The New Paper, Sahil said: "I really don't know what's happening, because even I as a player, I have no idea which team I'll be playing for on Saturday.

"It's very confusing, but it's all up to the coaches to decide.

"I was pretty upset about missing the last match, because I signed up as a LionsXII player expecting to play for the team.

"But I understand that it's a SEA (South-east Asia) Games year, and that's very important, so I'll gladly contribute to the Under-23s when I have to."

Faris also felt the same way, saying: "It was a missed opportunity (against Kelantan on Saturday), because it could have gotten us higher up in the MSL table if we had gotten a better result.

"I watched the match, and we played pretty well, but I think that Sahil and I would have helped to play our part if we were in the team."

With both Faris and Sahil set to miss out against Perak, Fandi has a problem up front.


Khairul Nizam, who pulled out of the Kelantan clash after just 24 minutes with yet another injury to add to his already extensive catalogue, is nursing a hamstring tear, and will be unavailable for at least another three weeks.

Sufian Anuar, meanwhile, was seen hobbling out of yesterday's training session with a hamstring problem as well, and Fandi said that his situation "will be monitored".

That leaves only Khairul Amri and the inexperienced Syafiq Zainal as the team's available forwards.

"It's not looking good for us at the moment, because it's only the first few games and we're already short," said Fandi.

"We have to take care of our resources, because we need goals and we need alternatives.

"We can't keep relying on Amri all the time."

This article was first published on February 18, 2015.
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