Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lions coach Fandi salutes his FA Cup champs

Source Website: http://news.asiaone.com/news/sports/lions-coach-fandi-salutes-his-fa-cup-champs
By Joash Ee De Silva, The Star/Asia News Network, Sunday, 24 May 2015


The Singapore side - coached by Singapore's most famous soccer son Fandi Ahmad - had beaten Terengganu on the away goals rule in the the semi-finals to reach their first Malaysia FA Cup final.
PHOTO: The Singapore side - coached by Singapore's most famous soccer son Fandi Ahmad - had beaten Terengganu on the away goals rule in the the semi-finals to reach their first Malaysia FA Cup final.
He paid tribute to his players for defying the odds to beat overwhelming favourites Kelantan 3-1 in the 26th edition of the FA Cup final at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil Saturday night.
"Who thought we'd win? We are a team with no stars but, in the end, hard work, dedication and sheer grit won it for us."
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Coach Fandi Ahmad paid tribute to his players for defying the odds to beat overwhelming favourites Kelantan 3-1 in the 26th edition of the FA Cup final at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday night.

"We proved everyone wrong," said a cheerful Fandi at the post-match conference.



Cue wild celebrations from the LionsXII bench, 6,000 travelling fans, and thousands more back in Singapore.
PHOTO: Cue wild celebrations from the LionsXII bench, 6,000 travelling fans, and thousands more back in Singapore. The Singapore football legend said his young team had better stamina to finish the game strongly.
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"Who thought we'd win? We are a team with no stars but, in the end, hard work, dedication and sheer grit won it for us."

The Singapore football legend said his young team had better stamina to finish the game strongly.



Fandi Ahmad and Nazri Nasir celebrates after LionsXII defeating Kelantan 3-1 in the FA Cup Final held at Bukit Jalil stadium, 23 May 2015.
PHOTO: Fandi Ahmad and Nazri Nasir celebrates after LionsXII defeating Kelantan 3-1 in the FA Cup Final held at Bukit Jalil stadium, 23 May 2015. "Kelantan had a lot of attacking power but our backline was solid. Man-of-the-match goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud was equally good between the posts," said Fandi.
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"Kelantan had a lot of attacking power but our backline was solid. Man-of-the-match goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud was equally good between the posts," said Fandi.

Kelantan coach Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah admitted that they paid the price for their lack of discipline in defence.

"We lost concentration and made two costly mistakes ... that led to our defeat. We did well to get the equaliser ... and I thought things would be better. We missed a lot of chances," he said.



Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong offered congratulations to the LionsXII on Facebook after their 3-1 victory against Kelantan in the FA Cup final.
PHOTO: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong offered congratulations to the LionsXII on Facebook after their 3-1 victory against Kelantan in the FA Cup final.
Earlier, the PM had sent his best wishes to the team ahead of the match, played at 8.45pm on Saturday, 23 May 2015. In his earlier Facebook post on Saturday, Mr Lee wrote: "To our LionsXII playing in tonight's Malaysia FA Cup final - you've come this far, now do your best, and bring it home! We are all cheering for you."
PM Lee thanked the team and supporters for bringing the cup back to Singapore. "You have worked hard and made us all proud!" he said.
"And to all Singapore fans in KL to support our team, safe journey and enjoy the match! - LHL."
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He was also disappointed that the Red Warriors failed to keep the trophy at home.

"Credit to the young Lions XII team. They were disciplined at the back and had their tactics spot-on!" said Azraai.

By Joash Ee De Silva, The Star/Asia News Network, Sunday, 24 May 2015


Football Association of Malaysia deputy president Effendy Hamzah said on Friday that more than 3,000 tickets had been sold to Singapore fans.
PHOTO: Football Association of Malaysia deputy president Effendy Hamzah said on Friday that more than 3,000 tickets had been sold to Singapore fans. The final was played at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, and around 5,000 LionsXII fans were expected to make their way across the Causeway for the match. "Credit to the young Lions XII team. They were disciplined at the back and had their tactics spot-on!" said Azraai, Kelantan coach.
The FA Cup will leave the country for the first time in 26 years, said Malaysian paper The Star. Singapore won the Malaysia Cup in 1994 before leaving to start its own league. Singapore rejoined Malaysian football in 2012. Supersub Mohd Sahil Suhaimi was the hero for the visitors, scoring a brace late in the piece to end Singapore's 21-year wait for a trophy in the M-League. The nippy Sahil scored in the 82nd minute and then converted a penalty deep into stoppage time to take the FA Cup across the causeway. Substitute Sahil's 81st-minute strike and stoppage-time penalty, coming after Faris' sixth-minute opener, gave the Singapore outfit a hard-fought 3-1 win over Kelantan, who dominated for large parts of the final.
The SEA Games-bound duo of Faris Ramli and Sahil Suhaimi led the LionsXII to a stunning Malaysian FA Cup triumph in front of 85,000 fans at the Bukit Jalil Stadium on Saturday evening, reported The Straits Times.
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