9 games passed, and Lions XII is sitting at the second position at the Malaysian Super League (MSL) after securing a hard-fought victory at Kuching last night. Lions XII recorded another away win against the East Malaysians.
As a Malaysian Cup futbol follower since school days, the East Malaysian teams are known for hard-tackling futbol. Probably let’s not go too far back to the nineties, does anyone still remember the very last game in which Lions XII played Sabah at Stadium Likas. Lions XII won the game 1-0 but the away win was not as easy as we think. Watch the game at this youtube link - Lions XII and Sabah, you will know the game was filled with fire, hard tackles and even fists! I can’t imagine what was going through in the minds of these young Lions XII players’. For a moment, I thought I was writing about some HongKong’s gangsters’ show!
Nonetheless, credits go to Lions XII. The team flew to East Malaysia, under the constant screaming and intimating environment, they focused on what was expected from them, and delivered the result on the pitch miles away from home. Just base on these 2 away games’ results where Lions XII beat Sabah and Sarawak 1-0 respectively, it speaks a lot of the team’s character. Well, I think Sundram is doing an excellent job.
Lions XII is undergoing a winning streak. Not without any challenge but with such a team character, I really see this team going far. Selangor, Terengganu and Negri Sembilan’s games coming up, let’s hope the positive 3 points could be earned every single game. And not to forget, support the Lions XII at Jalan Besat Stadium!
Have you bought your tickets?
18 March 2012 READ MORE >
I was one of those who watched Singapore lifted Malaysia Cup after beating Pahang 4-0 at Shah Alam Stadium 17 years ago. Now Singapore is back to the causeway, one of the world’s oldest competition; Malaysia Cup. Comes 10 January 2012, Singapore will kick off the campaign against Kelantan at our very own Jalan Besar Stadium!
So what’s the hype all about? It just another team playing in the M-League (Malaysia League), isn’t it? Well, I remember blogging about Singapore returning to the Malaysia Cup previously. This is a competition not just for the futbol fans, its a true competition for Malaysia and Singapore to be exact.
I went to watch a friendly between Lions XII and Johor FC last week. The standard of Lions XII’s was average. The team did not have the “X-factor” which I was anticipating to lift their game. I may be young when Singapore last played in the Malaysia Cup but my memory convinced me that if our current Lions XII going to play like what they did against an average Johor FC, they face the consequences of being whipped by the big big boys across the causeway. I think it’s only fair not to set a target of finishing at or near the top. First season, especially after 17 long years, a great outing to gather experience is realistic. If a target is essential, a mid-table standing will be reasonable. And its fair for the Lions XII chaps.
With the help of my friend, I have got my grandstand ticket for their first game - against Kelantan, 10 January 2012! For those who bought the tickets too, lets all cheer for our team in red! See you guys at the stadium!
My last memory of Malaysia Cup was probably the same as yours - Singapore beat Pahang 4-0 at the Shah Alam Stadium in 1994. Subsequently, Singapore NT received the pull-out of the competition news when they were training in New Zealand.
17 years passed, that group of players who received the devastated news in New Zealand were all way past their prime, but they may not be any happier now - Singapore is back to the Malaysia Cup again. Many veterans welcomed this return to the famous causeway league but will this return generate the much anticipated crowd again? We shall see next year when the home and away league kicks off next January 2012.
Malaysia Cup has a long history which nobody is aware. In fact, Malaysia Cup is the longest-running futbol competition in Asia where the first competition started off in 1921. Be proud of it, Singapore FA beat traditional rival, Selangor FA 2-1 in the very first edition! Base on the record, Selangor FA leads the table with 32 Cup wins while Singapore FA followed next with 24 Cup times.
It seems like all Singaporean futbol fans back then followed Malaysia Cup futbol passionately! I was one of them definitely. Malaysia Cup was introduced to me by my dad back in the early 90s. Those days, Singapore, leaded by Fandi Ahmad, was considered a strong team, together with Selangor, Kedah, Sarawak and Pahang. These names such as Zainal Abidin, Dollah Salleh, John Hunter and Allan Davidson are still going strong in my memory. Maybe some of you still remember these scenes, Sundramoorthy scoring an overhead kick against Brunei in the 8-0 thrashing at the old National Stadium, Fandi Ahmad scoring a sepak-takraw goal against Johor Bahru, Steven Tan dribbled past a few defenders before scoring against Pahang in the dying seconds, Lee Manhon putting a ball past Selangor’s GK from the third-quarter of the pitch and many more!
So will we see more of that next year? Will Singapore produce more names where we can call them heros just like yesterday?
Instead of seeing more spectacular goals and more names scoring late winners in the league, what we would rather see is having more good players coming through and move up into our Singapore NT. With the much travelling expected for the home and away games, this format surely is a realistic and professional futbol experience for the Lions. Initially, I am not convinced that the Malaysian’s futbol standard is beneficial to us but after their triumph at the last Suzuki Cup and the recent concluded SEA (South East Asia Games) at Indonesia, maybe its worth a try. Regardless what, the experience of playing in the Tiger’s den is always Singapore’s futbol gain. Soak up all experiences and crawl out of the cage with Singapore NT. Or at least that is what I hope. Malaysia Cup, here we come again.