Pahang 3-2 Lions XII
(Matias Conti 36′, R Gopinathan 65′, Azidan Sarudin 77′; Faris Ramli 15′, Khairul Nizam 90′)
Pahang FA Lineup: Khairul Azhan, Saiful Nizam, Damion Stewart, Zeshan Rehman, Azidan Sarudin (Rizua Shafiqi 79’), Matias Conti (Azamuddin Akil 89’), Dickson Nwakaeme, Razman Roslan (C), Hafiz Kamal, Gopinathan Ramachandra (Fauzi Rozlan 74’), Norazam Abdul Azih
LionsXII lineup: Izwan Mahbud (GK) (C), Faritz Hameed, Madhu Mohana, Zulfahmi Arifin, Hafiz Sujad, Izzdin Shahfiq, Firdaus Kasman (Sufian Anuar 68’), Gabriel Quak (Christopher van Huizen 85’), Faris Ramli, Sahil Suhaimi (Isa Halim 56’), Khairul Nizam
LionsXII fell to a 3-2 defeat against Pahang FA on Saturday evening at the Darul Makmur Stadium.
The defeat was LionsXII’s second of the season in all competitions, and ended their five-game unbeaten run.
Faris Ramli had given the Singapore team the lead in the 15th minute, before Matias Conti, R Gopinathan and Azidan Sarudin turned the game around for Pahang. Khairul Nizam then pulled one back right at the death although it proved to be a mere consolation.
The game was always going to be a tough affair for the visitors, and it was not helped by the absence of striker Khairul Amri and centre-back Afiq Yunos, both ruled out due to injuries sustained during the international break.
It was Pahang who started the game brightly, as they forced Izwan Mahbud into action early on. The custodian had to be alert as he pulled off huge saves to deny Conti and Hafiz Kamal.
Pahang had the lion’s share of possession as they searched for the opening goal, but found themselves down instead after the visitors scored with their first shot on target.
A punt from Izwan from his penalty area found Faris on the right, and the winger played a quick one-two with Sahil Suhaimi before finishing sweetly past Pahang goalkeeper Khairul Azhan.
Seven minutes later, the duo combined again but this time, Sahil shot over from a tight angle. Pahang then put the ball into the back of the net through Zesh Rehman, although it was ruled out for offside.
LionsXII did not heed the warning signs though, and conceded six minutes later. Azidan’s cross from the right was allowed to reach Conti, who out-jumped Madhu Mohana to power a header home.
Pahang continued attacking after the restart and in the 52nd minute they made Izwan work once again, but the LionsXII stand-in captain got a strong palm to Norazam’s effort from range. Pahang were not to be denied and they took the lead 13 minutes later after Gopinathan smashed a shot into the roof of the net from a Dickson Nwakaeme through pass.
Nizam then had a golden opportunity to equalise just five minutes later, but could not get a clean connection onto Gabriel Quak’s header. It was 3-1 in the 77th minute after LionsXII did not deal with a free-kick, and Azidan bundled home the ball at the near post with his chest.
Nizam eventually reduced the deficit with his first goal of the season in the last minute of injury time with a composed finish after substitute Christoper van Huizen had set him up. However, it was too late for the LionsXII to mount a comeback as they fell to a 3-2 defeat.
Full video goal highlights :-