FourFourTwo Player Ratings: PB Melayu Kedah 0 LionsXII 4

Who stood out during the LionsXII’s 4-0 victory over Kedah United FC on Saturday in the first match of the Malaysia FA Cup? Deepanraj Ganesan hands out grades to Fandi’s men.

Khairulhin Khalid 7

Showed some early nerves as he fumbled a harmless cross in the 17th minute but he was fortunate not to be punished for it. Largely untroubled throughout the match, Khairulhin was called into action just past the hour mark when he palmed away a shot destined for the back of the net from Sadam Hashim.

Nazrul Nazari 7

Continued his role at right back and once again impressed with his good reading of the game. Nazrul swapped flanks with Wahyudi in the second half as he took up the left back position and did well to combat the threat of the pacy Sadam. The fullback also showed that he can distribute from the back as it was his ball that Sahil Suhaimi latched onto to score the LionsXII’s second goal of the match.

Afiq Yunos 7

Opened the scoring with an emphatic header from a corner and was also confident in bringing the ball out from the back on numerous occasions. Helped his side to their first clean sheet of the season which will boost the young defence’s confidence.

Madhu Mohana 7

Led the defence well and although the LionsXII were under pressure for most of the first half, Madhu and his fellow defenders did well to overcome the threat and earn the clean sheet. Madhu was also unfortunate to not get his name on the scoresheet as he came close from several set piece situations.

Wahyudi Wahid 7

Started at left-back in place of the injured Hafiz Abu Sujad and did well although he was caught out of position on a few occasions. Was switched to his favoured right back position in the second half and fared better than he did in the opening 45 minutes. Wahyudi also did well in getting forward and linked up well with both Gabriel Quak and Faris Ramli throughout the match.

Firdaus Kasman 7

Failed to get a control of the midfield battle in the first half but a change in formation helped Firdaus get into the game in the second half. Was booked in the first half for an unnecessary late tackle on Farizal Rozali. Played a sublime ball to set up Gabriel Quak for LionsXII’s third goal.

Isa Halim (c) 6

Against lesser known midfielders, this was Isa Halim’s perfect chance to turn in a dynamic and barnstorming performance, something the LionsXII fans have been yearning to see since his return from injury. But similar to his past outings, Isa was not quite up to the standards. The captain was not able to stamp his authority in midfield and at times, his distribution was dire. Against better opposition, he would have been found out.

Izzdin Shafiq 6

With the way Izzdin has gone about his business this season, you would have expected the powerful midfielder to have bossed the middle of the park against PB Kedah but he did none of that against opponents who ply their trade in the third tier. Like Isa and Firdaus, Izzdin was unable to cope with PB Kedah’s midfield and offered little going forward as well. Hooked off at half time for Sahil Suhaimi.

Gabriel Quak 9

A sensational outing for the winger against Kedah United which he capped off with a calm and composed finish. Gabriel’s delivery from wide positions and set pieces were excellent as well. Coach Fandi Ahmad has called for a more mature Gabriel this season and the player showed just that with a superb performance on Saturday.

Faris Ramli 7

Delivered a peach of a ball for Afiq Yunos to head in from the corner but prior to that, Faris’ delivery was a let-down. As always, got into good positions with his trickery and caused plenty of problems down the flanks. Encouraging performance nonetheless from Faris.

Khairul Amri  7

As always, Khairul Amri worked his socks off up front and drifted wide after the introduction of Sahil Suhaimi and was still as effective. But with all the work that Amri puts in, the downside is that he fails to get into good positions when needed. Unlucky not to get on the score sheet.

Substitutes:

Sahil Suhaimi 8

Used rather sparingly this season, Sahil had already netted once this season albeit from a free kick in the first game of the season. But the former Young Lions forward really showed what he is all about in this match. Simply put, the second half can be termed the Sahil Suhami show. His first goal was a master class as the 22 year old struck the ball sweetly past the hapless keeper and he soon added a second with a precise header. Only inspired goalkeeping prevented Sahil from completing his hat trick.

Syafiq Zainal 7

A very positive appearance for Syafiq as he did superbly well after coming on. Showed brilliant feet and technique down the right flank to whip in an inch perfect cross for Sahil to head in for the final goal. Minutes later, Syafiq was at it again as he sent Sahil through with a superb pass only for the latter’s shot to be parried away by the goalkeeper.

Samuel Benjamin N.A

Replaced Firdaus Kasman with minutes to go and took up a position on the left of midfield. A substitution to run the clock down.

Photos: Football Association of Singapore