Shahril Ishak gave LionsXII the lead in the ninth minute after a well worked throw in by Madhu Mohana which was knocked onto his patch by the towering Baihakki Khaizan. However Shahril Ishak suffered what looked like a serious shoulder injury after landing awkwardly as he converted his 10th league goal of the Malaysia Super League season. Khyril Muhymeen equalised for the Hijau Kunings in the 21st minute after he planted a neat header home off a cross by Baddrol Bakhtiar.
Substitute Sufian Anuar restored LionsXII’s lead with a beautifully taken header, off a perfectly weighted ball by Juma’at Jantan in the 29th minute sending the 7,328 strong crowd at the Jalan Besar Stadium on their feet, cheering in delight.
Juma’at Jantan was then taken off as the Singapore international went weak after vomiting on the pitch. What may be a case of suspected food poisoning have also affected Firdaus Kasman. Both players were sent to the hospital for further review.
LionsXII went into the break with the one goal lead and doubled their advantage when stand in skipper Baihakki Khaizan headed Shahdan Sulaiman’s free kick into te roof of the net, sending the Jalan Besar faithful into frenzy.
Despite the setback, Kedah played some beautiful football with Andel Fatah Safi orchestrating from the middle of the park. In the 62nd minute, Kedah charged down a shot by Raihan Rahman, with Vedran Gerc leading a counter attack. A cross field through ball found Amar Rohidan unmarked on the left, and the midfielder smashed a lovely thunderbolt into the top right hand corner of the net leaving Izwan Mahbud rooted to the ground.
LionsXII had barely recovered from the goal when Kedah equalised through Vedran Gerc. Receiving the ball 30 yards from goal, the LionsXII backline did not close in on him quick enough and Gerc accepted the invitation to shoot, letting fly a pile-driver that found the bottom corner of Izwan Mahbud’s goal. Two goals in the space of four minutes left the LionsXII stunned as they roamed forward in numbers, in search of a winner.
Shaiful Esah came closest to that as his 40 yard freekick almost found its way into goal with Helmi Eliza Elias gapsing for thin air. Kedah breathe a sigh of relieve as the ball went narrowly wide off the upright.
LionsXII were clearly missing their own engine room in Hariss Harun who is still out due to a shoulder injury. Compunded by the exit of Juma’at and Shahril early in the game, the LionsXII had to rely on set pieces in their bid to penetrate the Kedah defense.
Kedah on the other hand, did not look a bit like a team languishing in relegation zone as they matched LIonsXII tit for tat in all departments. The result handed Kelantan the advantage after their three nil win in Petaling Jaya tonight as they slashed the lead to three points at the top of the table, having played four games less.
Sundram face a defensive crisis as he will be missing out on Baihakki Khaizan, Sevki Sha’ban and Madhu Mohana through suspension. With Safuwan Baharudin out injured, Abdil Qaiyyim remains the only natural centre back that Sundram can call on for the next game against Kuala Lumpur. Hariss Harun has not been cleared till date and it remains to be seen who will fill in at the heart of defence on Tuesday evening.
Catch the post match conference below:
Other MSL results:
Perak 2-0 Selangor
Negeri Sembilan 2-1 Johor FC
Selangor PKNS 0-3 Kelantan
Felda United 2-1 Terengganu
T-Team 2-1 Kuala Lumpur
Sarawak 1-0 Sabah