Football: Fazrul's strike keeps LionsXII’s Malaysia Cup hopes alive
- POSTED: 18 Sep 2013 22:11
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The LionsXII's hopes of reaching the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals were reignited on Wednesday night after they secured a hard-fought win over Malaysian Premier League champions Sarawak at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
SINGAPORE - The LionsXII's hopes of reaching the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals were reignited on Wednesday night after they secured a hard-fought win over Malaysian Premier League champions Sarawak at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The win gave the LionsXII three very valuable points and lifted them to second in Group D, level on points with both and Perak and Sarawak, who currently lead due to a superior goal difference.
The fist half was one of few goalscoring chances. The LionsXII had plenty of possession but struggled to find the killer pass to split open the Sarawak defence in the absence of captain Shahril Ishak.
The closest they came to breaking the deadlock was in the 43rd minute when Safuwan Baharudin won a free-kick right on the edge of the area. Set-piece specialist Shahfiq Ghani stepped up but his effort cannoned off the wall and the follow-up shot was also well blocked.
Shahril did come on in the second half to replace winger Faris Ramli but it was another substitute, Fazrul Nawaz, who stole the show.
The striker - who replaced Zulfahmi Arifin just before the hour mark - was put through to goal in the 64th minute and calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net to give the LionsXII a 1-0 lead.
Sarawak tried hard to level the scores after that but the LionsXII managed to hold on to their narrow lead for the rest of the game and keep their hopes of winning the league and Cup double alive.