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Saturday, June 16, 2012

LionsXII 9-0 Sabah FA: Irresistable LionsXII return to MSL action with a roar as they put nine past a helpless Sabah outfit

Largest margin of victory win ensures 100% record against East Malaysian outfits and helps to maintain gap over the chasing pack
Hariss Harun- Hattrick
When both teams first met in Kota Kinabalu in late January, the match was notable for being an ill-tempered match interrupted by numerous crunching tackles and player altercations. Thankfully, the reverse fixture at Jalan Besar Stadium proved to be a contrasting affair as both sides focused on the footballing aspects of the game, and the LionsXII especially were simply irresistible on the night putting nine goals past Sabah with captain Hariss Harun grabbing a hattrick.

 It took awhile for the home side to get going and when they finally did, the much-maligned Agu Casmir was at the heart of it. On the 18th minute, Agu found space and time on the right wing and he delivered a delicious searching cross which was met by the onrushing Irwan Shah but he failed to direct his header goalwards.

 The subsequent clearance eventually found Shahdan Sulaiman whose vision allowed him to thread a through ball to Irwan Shah but yet again, the end result was disappointing. A succession of corners soon followed and on the 20th minute, the home side was eventually rewarded as Baihakki Khaizan won the initial header which was eventually helped across goal by Casmir.

 If the goal had emphasized the need for Sabah to mark Baihakki closer in set-piece situations, they clearly failed to heed it, as on the 23rd minute, the towering centre-back yet again won another header off a corner which was saved by the goalkeeper. But the ball eventually reached Hariss Harun who volleyed into an empty net.

 The stand-in captain had been in domineering form of late and seemed to thrive with the added responsibility rather than being burdened by it. This was again on show on the 42nd minute as after receiving the ball on the edge of the area, Hariss raced past a static Sabah backline before arching his body and expertly dispatching the ball past Irwan Jamil for the third goal of the night.

 As the teams trudged off at the break, Sabah would fully well appreciate that the second-half would be nothing more than an exercise in damage limitation. For the first twenty minutes, they kept to their task well as they defended higher up the pitch and limited the amount of clear-cut chances for the home side. 

However, a moment of individual brilliance undid their initial resolve as Casmir’s lofted cut-back was chested by Shadan Sulaiman who then proceeded to nonchalantly lob the ball over the despairing dive of Irwan Jamil. From there, it all went downhill for Sabah and on the 66th minute, a quick break saw Agu cut in from the left flank before delivering an inch-perfect cross for Juma'at Jantan to unselfishly cut back across goal for Shahdan to record his second goal of the night.

 Three minutes later, Irwan Shah ensured the largest margin of victory in the MSL for the LionsXII as he sidefooted home yet another inviting cross from the impressive Casmir. Buoyed by the goals and the ecstatic support, the home side continued to press on, and on the 76th minute, great interplay down the left wing saw Shaiful Esah cut back to Hariss Harun and the captain duly obliged to record his hat-trick and the seventh goal of the night.

 The home side was not done however, and on the 85th minute, substitute Sufian Anuar got one to his name as he headed in a free-kick courtesy of Shaiful Esah’s trademark left peg. To further rub salt into the wound, there was still time for an own goal as Sharul Azhar’s desperate slide was only successful in helping to divert Irwan Shah’s cut-back into his own net.

 As the referee blew the whistle for full-time, all the fans roundly stood up to applause the players for their tremendous performance. One thing is definitely for certain - the MSL title may end up in Kota Bharu this season, but if the players consistently display this kind of performance, it won’t be long before the trophy finds its way down south to Singapore.


  1. This is indeed the most embarassing defeat ever, to local comrades coach who supported Justin Ganai. I want to support your opinion but how can i? the best local coach available and this is what he did. Blame the players yes but the most responsible person is JUSTIN GANAI, its true the foreign coaches except Ronald Smith didn't bring championship to Sabah but at least we are not bottom of the table and not like this. I foresee that we will lose to Singapore. My thought was maybe the least 3-0 or worst 5-0 but 9-0 is totally unbelievable. I don't blame Irwan Jamil not his fault. It just a bad day that he was chosen to play in this situation. NO support from the defenders and the whole team perform like that it is a goalkeeper worst nightmare. I know what JG will say to the press, he is disspointed and the players not perform to expectation. But the best he could say is IM RESPONSIBLE OF THIS DEFEAT AND I WILL TAKE THE BLAME AND WILL RESIGN. I think Garry Phillips still able to save Sabah from relegation last year i don't understand why they replaced him. He has no imports, no local players who migrate to west but returned this year and yet JG perform worst than any other coach who ever coaches Sabah. Now we are really in danger of falling to relegation. I don't understand if anybody still wants to support JG. His record for the past 10-15 years showed that he cannot coach the senior team, give him president cup of sukma team instead not professional team. JUSTIN PLEASE RESIGN, Sabah FA management, if you guys can kick Garry last year you should do it this year as well. Get somebody else even if another local coach.

  2. Perlawanan terakhir di Likas ramai penonton menjerit Justin supaya diganti atau digugurkan.ini adalah saat yang paling memalukan pada bolasepak sabah. Coach yang lepas walaupun kita tidak menang kejuaraan tapi penonton masih dapat bersorak gembira kerana pasukan bermain dengan baik, cantik dan menjaring gol serta mengalahkan team team yang kuat. Tahun ini saya tidak faham kenapa. Justin Ganai adalah jurulatih yang sangat lucu dalam erti kata yang lain. Menjadi coach begini dia sepatutnya mengundurkan diri bukan menunggu digugurkan. Bolasepak profesional memang begini, kalau team terus terusan kecundang dan dibelasah coach harus menanggung semua kesalahan. Letak jawatan saja justin tolonglah.kalau sabah jatuh ke liga premier kau la yang paling memalukan.Jurulatih import mahal pun kalau Sabah FA mampu apa salahnya, dari murah cam justin ganai dan murah la mainan sabah dan murahla di mulut pengacara sukan astro arena mengkomen pasukan sabah. Gantilah JG itu wahai sabah FA sesiapa saja local coach yang lain pun boleh.

  3. whatever.. even the best coach in the world cannot safe this Sabah team.. they depends too much on individual then team work.. the player is still same on their attitudes (craps!!).. give up after opponent score their 1st goal.. they are chasing shadow on this match.. the player can be seen just wondering around without trying hard.. and this really break my heart as a fans of Sabah.. I don't know where is the fighting spirits of 90's when we are one of the team our opponent will be fear of upon hearing the name.

  4. Betul..the best coach pun cannot safe them. Tapi ini Justin Ganai selalu waris team dari coach lain, menampakan harapan dan selepas itu musnah. Pada 2003 Ken Worden resign sebagai ketua jurulatih di hujung musim dan Justin menggantikannya sebagai penolong jurulatih naik pangkat. Dengan cemerlangnya Sabah masuk final Malaysia cup tapi tewas kepada MPPJ Selangor. Lalu next year dari awal musim Justin dilantik ketua jurulatih.Apa jadi? hanya 6 perlawanan kalah berturut turut digantikan..kejayaan tahun sebelumnya kerana Ken Worden telah mewariskan team yang hebat untuk beliau. Tahun lalu Gary Phillips tiada pemain import, local players talent tidak banyak. Contoh tiada Sumardi, ronny harun sebagai contoh tapi Gary berjaya bertahan dan saya yakin Sabah akan selamat super league. Tapi sabah fa berasa Gary gagal dan buang beliau ambil Justin Ganai, the best local coach availabale menurut sesetengah orang. Apa jadi? berjaya kununya Justin menyelamatkan Sabah dari jatuh ke liga premier. Tau tau apa...Justin sekali lagi mewarisi team yang telah dibina Gary. Tahun ini Justin dilantik ketua jurulatih lagi. Sesetengah orang marah jika Justin dipertikaikan sebab beliau berjaya menyelamatkan Sabah last year. Apa jadi sekarang? sabah nampaknya akan ke liga premier tahun depan jika masih tidak dapat bangun.Justin telah rosakkan pasukan ini, dengan import dan pemain local berbakat dia tidak berjaya juga. Walaupun pemain juga harus dipersalahkan tapi ketua jurulatih harus bertanggungjawab.Jika last year Gary dipersalahkan tahun ini Justin harus dipersalahkan. Lebih teruk kita mungkin akan jatuh ke liga premier tahun depan.Lawan kita selepas ini yang kuat kuat semua, Kedah berjaya mengambil kesempatan dari malang yang menimpa sabah. Jika beginilah, lawan QPR nanti macam mana? fans harap dapat menonton perlawanan yang sengit tapi kalau dibelasah dan dikotak katikan?QPR balik ke England dan dan ketawa kerana lawan team amatur dan Tan Sri Tony Fernandez yang bersusah payah bawa mereka ke Sabah mungkin menyesal kerana ini melibatkan imej Malaysia. I hope you guys can survive in super league, Milomir Seslija did comments in facebook he wants and very much interested to coach sabah and become a Sabahan again. He claim to be very good a coach then when he was a player. Sabah FA should give a thought. Kalau mampu apa salahnya..kalau James Wong ada sijil jurulatih sepatutnya beliau juga boleh dilantik, mungkin Hassan Sani atau Peter Rajah..malangnya Matlan tidak boleh kerana hukuman FAM keatasnya tidak boleh melibatkan diri dengan bolasepak anjuran FAM entah sampai bila sampai tua mau tunggu. Now we wait and hope and crossed our fingers may God saves our beloved Sabah team. Send a coach that can save and we also lacked a player who can inspire the team, player like Cristiano Ronaldo or our beloved Matlan Marjan.

    1. very good point bro.


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