LionsXII end pre-season on winning note

YOGYAKARTA — The LionsXII ended their pre-season tour of Yogyakarta in Indonesia with a 1-0 victory over PSS Sleman at the Maguwoharjo Stadium today (Jan 10).

Khairul Amri scored in the 45th minute to give the LionsXII their second win in three games – after a 2-1 victory over PPSM Magelang on Tuesday and a 0-3 defeat to Persis Solo last Saturday.

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Head Coach Fandi Ahmad said: “It has been a good tour – with three good matches that provided our players, especially the young ones such as Emmeric Ong, Ignatius Ang and Syafiq Zainal, a feel of the intensity of matches in front of big and vocal crowds.

“In addition, the nine-day trip also strengthened the bonding among the players and officials and we are looking forward to our first match in the Malaysian Super League (MSL) next Friday. It will not be an easy season but I believe the team’s perseverance and fighting spirit will play a key role in the next 10 months.”

Vice-captain and defender Safuwan Baharudin added: “We have several new players this season, and the training tour has helped them settle in well. While a few players were not able to play in the matches, it is good that they are here with the team not only to work on their fitness but also to gel and bond as a cohesive unit.

“Many players in the squad have gained experience through the years of playing together and they will play an important role in guiding and mentoring the younger players. We will put up our best performance and we look forward to our fans’ support which will be vital in our quest for success this season.”

The LionsXII are the defending MSL champions and will kick off their 2014 season against Pahang on Jan 17 in Kuantan.

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