Malaysia Cup: We need a miracle

Malaysia Cup: We need a miracle
Lions footballer Isa Halim taking part in a training session held at the Singapore Sports School, in preparation for the first-leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup final match against Thailand on 19 December 2012.

They may have been crowned kings of the Malaysian Super League (MSL), but the LionsXII are no illusions - the Malaysia Cup is a different ball game.

And the MSL champions are staring at a shock elimination, in the first round.

After two losses and a draw, the LionsXII are bottom of Group D with one point, six points behind leaders Perak. Only the top two teams will qualify for the quarter-finals.

"It's going to take a miracle to get out of this group now," sighed midfield hardman Isa Halim yesterday, after the team returned from Ipoh following their 1-0 loss to Perak on Tuesday.

But the 27-year-old insists he does not own a white flag.

"In our last three group games, I've been working harder, pushing everyone around me, and it's the same for all of us," he said. "But whatever we tried in the games, especially the last two which we lost, it just didn't work. To be honest, I felt like crying, it was as if there was a curse on us.

"I believe that if we do survive this early scare, I'm confident we can go far in this tournament - and I assure our fans that if we get it, we won't waste a second chance."

After a 2-2 draw with Malaysian second-tier side Kedah in their opening Malaysia Cup encounter at the Jalan Besar Stadium, V Sundramoorthy's side were cut down in two away fixtures - a 2-1 loss to Malaysian Premier League (second tier) champions Sarawak, and the defeat by Perak.

Anything less than a win over Perak at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday and the LionsXII will almost certainly be out of the Malaysia Cup.

After the heady success in the MSL, many felt a place in the Cup final beckoned, but the LionsXII have their backs to the wall.

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