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LionsXII must continue Jalan Besar dominance to win Cup double

Photo: FAS

Will coach Fandi Ahmad’s strategies work?

Photo: FAS
Photo: FAS

With six wins, five draws and a historic Malaysia FA Cup trophy in the bag, the LionsXII head into the final part of the season with the Malaysia Cup as priority.

Here are two reasons why Fandi Ahmad’s second season with the LionsXII has been an enthralling one so far.

1. Izzdin and Safuwan’s DYNAMIC midfield partnership

After Hariss Harun’s departure to join Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), the LionsXII have struggled to find another midfielder who can attack and defend. To plug this gap, Fandi signed Izzdin Shafiq from Home United.

Not only has Izzdin filled the gap capably, he’s been the team’s main catalyst in the middle of the park, with most of the LionsXII’s moves passing through his majestic right foot.

Having played all 22 matches this season, Izzdin has been the epitome of consistency. In the last five matches, he also found relief when Safuwan Baharudin returned after his stint in Australia’s A-League.

The duo work in perfect tandem and can spray the passes across the field while tracking back to do the dirty work when their team is under siege.

2. Jalan Besar is a fortress once again

When V Sundramoorthy led the LionsXII to the 2013 MSL title, he did it with a brilliant home record. Ten wins and a draw saw them clock a Chelsea-like performance that year to remain unbeaten on the artificial turf.

They are, once again, on the way to repeating the feat under Fandi’s guidance this season. Last year, home supremacy vanished into thin air. But Fandi’s team has risen from the ashes with another unbeaten streak. They seem to have reclaimed their dominance on home soil with eight victories and two draws in all competitions.

When the Malaysia Cup comes in October, this impressive home record must be kept intact.

The LionsXII’s next game will be against Felda United at Jalan Besar, on Sun, Aug 2.
[su_note note_color=”#b4f1fa”]About Kelvin Leong

Kelvin Leong is Associate Editor for ESPN FC, and a former media officer for the Singapore national football team.[/su_note]