LionsXII’s key to victory is to ATTACK
By Liga Singapura on January 8, 2012 in Dennis Antwi, Indra Putra, Jean Emmanuel Effa Owona, kelantan, LIONSXII, Muhamad Ghaddar, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Perlawanan Sumbangsih, Peter Butler
LionsXII will mark
’s return to the Malaysia Football tournaments in three days time when they host defending Malaysia Super League Champions Kelantan in an opening home fixture at the Jalan Besar Stadium. Singapore
A sell out crowd is expected at the Jalan Besar Stadium for this clash as Football Association of Singapore have announced on Saturday evening that only 10% of the tickets were left for sale on the third day of pre-sales schedules.
On Saturday evening, Liga Singapura was at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium to check out on what will Kelantan have to offer against the LionsXII. The end result may not be to Kelantan’s favor (Negeri Sembilan won 2-1) but there’re definitely a few issues to take note of the
East Malaysia side who are solid and confident when they have possession of the ball.
The Red Warriors are led by former Singapore Armed Forces FC head coach Peter Butler and his appointment late last year marked his second stint at the club.
Butler’s side is made up of numerous big name players in the mould of National Team stars, Khairul Fahmi Che Mat as well as Norshahrul Idlan Talaha. Adding on to the 2011 Malaysia Super League Champions rooster this year will be foreign imports Lebanese Muhamad Ghaddar and Ghanaian Dennis Antwi Agyare. Malaysia
Kelantan played a 4-3-3 throughout the entire game against Negeri Sembilan with no less than five men in attack whenever they were involved in an attacking move. They will are likely to play the same way which they did against Negeri Sembilan when they visit Jalan Besar Stadium.
Antwi, Ghaddar and Norshahrul will spearhead the team’s attack with Norfarhan Mohamad and former Malaysia International Indra Putra Mahiyuddin supporting the trio from the “hole”. Shakir Shaari the captain sits in front of a rather shaky defence consisting of Mohd Aziz Ismail, Mohd Farisham Ismail,
S Subramaniam and Azizi Matt Rose. Khairul Fahmi Che Mat will keep goal for Kelantan
Kelantan were dealt with a severe blow for their opening Malaysia Super League fixture when Azizi Matt Rose will definitely be out for the game against LionsXII when he was replaced midway through the second half with suspected knee ligament damage.
Kelantan plays fast pace football and the players’ movement off the ball would be something to take not of. However the backline loses the ball rather easily and were finding it tough to cope with the “Perlawanan Sumbangsih(Charity Shield)” Man of the Match, Jean Emmanuel Effa Owona who had two goals to his name on the night.
When the team attacks, Kelantan tend to leave a big “gap in between the backline and the attacking line, which Negeri Sembilan took full advantage of. The attacking trio of Ghaddar, Antwi and Norshahrul had no way past a much disciplined Negeri Sembilan backline led by skipper Norhafiz Zamani Misbah.
The goal by Norshahrul Idlan Talaha was a classic example on how good the team is going forward. Ghaddar needs to be credited for all the hard work done as he weaved past two defenders before setting up Norshahrul for the opener, just after 19 minutes on the clock. Though Kelantan had plenty of opportunities to double the score line, they failed to make it count when it mattered. On top of that, the backline didn’t help when they allowed Effa to go past three defenders with ease before scoring off a deflection by a Kelantan defender. The second goal was also a result of poor defending when Effa was left totally unmarked at the far post to nod home the winner.
For LionsXII, I thought that it will be best for V Sundramoorthy to come out attacking right from the start in order to neutralize the threat poised by the awesome attacking trio of Norshahrul, Antwi and Ghaddar. With Norfarhan Mohamad and Indra Putra behind these three, denying these five players all in all will be crucial at any stage of the game. Denying these five players any time on the ball will be half the battle won on Tuesday.
Kelantan have been training on the astro turf of the National Sports Council near Bukit Jalil National Stadium for the past days and even did so when they cancelled their allocated time slot to train on the Bukit Jalil ground to prepare for this game to train on the astro turf next door. This should be in view of the “ground problems” which will likely cause problems for the Red Warriors on the coming Tuesday.
Peter Butler was a disappointed man after the game and he speak of how good his team’s performance was and it was down to two silly errors which cost the team the game.
“We were playing much better football as all of you can see. But the two mistakes that we made led to two goals and this is football. Such things do happen.”
“I am very disappointed that despite controlling the game for long periods, we couldn’t grind out a win from today’s effort. I’ve been here three times, and I’ve lost all three.”
“(The fans) should also be disappointed and we will take the next two days to analyze what went wrong and try to correct it before the first game next week. I certainly thought that the main difference was (Effa) who scored the two goals for (Negeri Sembilan)” said
In an earlier interview with
, the Brit mentioned that they will not find any time to train on any astro turf as time doesn’t allow them to do that with their hectic pre season schedules. But it seemed that things have change in the space of a week. Butler
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