His solitary goal this season came in the 2-2 draw at Perak in the Malaysian Super League and being the LionsXII's main forward, Khairul Amri would have been feeling the pressure to score more.
The footballer's patience and persistence in front of goal paid off yesterday evening. His brace helped his team secure their passage into the quarter-finals of the Malaysian FA Cup after a comfortable 4-0 victory over KL Spa Putrajaya from the second-tier Malaysian Premier League (MPL) at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
But coach Fandi Ahmad demands more from his marksman, who was his side's top scorer last year with seven league goals.
He said: "I am happy for him (Amri) that he scored the goals but I am not very happy with his performance. It was a sub-par performance and I thought he was too selfish at times.
"But I am happy that he scored to get that momentum. That is important for him but he can play much better."
Speaking to The Sunday Times after the match, the forward was happy to have started bulging the net again and agreed with his coach's criticism.
"I thought I should have at least scored a hat-trick today but I am happy with the two that I scored. I was marked very tightly so it was tough but it gave the others more space to attack," said the 30-year-old.
Cheered on by a crowd of 3,801, defender Madhu Mohana opened the scoring in the 17th minute as he met winger Gabriel Quak's inswinging corner with a thumping side-foot volley.
Amri grabbed the second in the 27th minute, latching on to Madhu's throw and holding off Putrajaya captain Aslam Najumden before firing a shot on the turn. His effort took a deflection off the skipper before looping over goalkeeper Mahathir Mohammad.
Quak added a third in the 58th minute, finishing off a swift counter-attacking move, cutting in from the right flank before unleashing a shot which was deflected into the far right corner of the net.
The scoreline received an added gloss in the 84th minute, as Amri was on hand in the six-yard-box to steer in Izzdin Shafiq's floated free kick between Mahathir's legs.
The LionsXII will host the MPL's Johor Darul Takzim II in the quarter-finals. That means Singapore internationals Shahril Ishak and Baihakki Khaizan will return to face their former club.
This article was first published on March 22, 2015.
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