PDRM FA 2 LionsXII 1: Traore brace sinks spirited LionsXII
PDRM striker Dramane Traore starred with a first-half brace which sandwiched by Safuwan Baharudin’s excellent equaliser.
Despite accumulating more shots and possession throughout, the LionsXII were unable to turn their dominance into further goals as they eventually fell to their fourth league defeat of the season.
Faris Ramli and Khairul Amri were restored to the starting eleven after being rested against ATM FA three days ago, but the duo got off to a shaky start.
First Faris missed the ball completely with his attempted header after being picked out by Izzdin Shafiq after only two minutes, before Amri was adjudged to have handled Shahurain Abu Samah’s cross inside the area seven minutes later.
Traore duly stepped up and sent Izwan Mahbud the wrong way with his resulting spot-kick.
Amri tried to redeem himself shortly after, but his free kick clattered straight into the wall.
The LionsXII were to get their equaliser before the half-hour mark as Safuwan rose the highest in the box to head home Izzdin’s freekick from inside their own half.
However their joy proved to be short-lived as PDRM retook the lead just two minutes later.
Jaime Braganca skinned Shakir Hamzah on the right byline, before crossing for Traore who leaped just in front of marker Madhu Mohana in the six-yard box to head into the top left corner of the net.
Safuwan then had another two opportunities to level matters before the break, but both the efforts was denied by PDRM stopper Badrulzaman Halim.
That set the tone for the second half where the 37-year-old continually thwarted the LionsXII’s efforts to restore parity.
He first denied Khairul Nizam and Faris with a superb double save, before palming over a fierce 20-yard drive from Izzdin.
PDRM could have extended to their lead midway through the second half when Mohamadou Sumareh produced a lung-bursting run from inside his own half, but the substitute’s resulting shot missed the left-hand post by inches.
Nizam then headed just wide from substitute Faritz Hameed’s searching ball, before Traore was denied the match ball by the post.
The final opportunity fell to Nazrul Nazari, whose header from Sahil Suhaimi’s cross looked destined for the bottom right corner before Badrulzaman somehow managed to divert it wide with a superb one-handed save.
Time eventually ran out for the LionsXII, who would have cause to blame Lady Luck for denying them a share of the spoils.
The result means the Singaporeans stay in seventh position, a point adrift of the top half, as they look to bounce back against Kelantan FA at home next Saturday.
Photos: Football Association of Singapore