Fandi bemoans lack of killer instinct

The LionsXII coach was left a frustrated figure after his team was unable to break down a resolute Terengganu team in their goal-less draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium

It was a frustrating night for the LionsXII as they were held to a 0-0 draw against Terengganu FA in the Malaysia Super League (MSL) at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday evening.

Having dominated the game for majority of the game, the reigning MSL champions struggled to create clear-cut chances and were punished for their profligacy in front of goal. 

Unsurprisingly, LionsXII coach Fandi Ahmad was frustrated with his side’s inability to be more clinical.

“We are very disappointed for ourselves and the fans, I thought we could have buried the game as we had at least three good chances,” he said at the post-match press conference.

“When you are creating chances and you don’t score goals, that is the biggest problem.

“It’s not about luck; we had the luck for ourselves but we didn’t finish it, because the chances were there even though they were not clear cut. 

“They didn’t have any good chances apart from a free-kick but I thought our finishing was disappointing, our last pass wasn’t there.”

Fandi refused to blame his strikers for their inability to score though, saying that the team collectively has to take responsibility. He also blamed an uncharacteristic lack of teamwork as a factor for not being able to get all three points.

“It’s not [all about] the strikers, the chances fell to different people, different players all in scoring positions but they don’t have the killer instinct,” he bemoaned.

“I thought some of our players were more individualistic today, [but] I won’t mention names, you can see for yourself.”

Still, with the likes of Safuwan Baharudin, Faritz Hameed and Shakir Hamzah all struggling with injuries during the game, the former national striker was pleased that all of them came through without further damage.

“We have limited resources upfront so the best option to score a [late] goal is that Safuwan will always go forwards,” he said. "I am just happy he finished the game without any further injuries."

As for Terengganu coach Abdul Rahim Ibrahim, he was pleased that his side’s tactics to stifle the LionsXII attack worked to perfection.

“I think they played well today but they fell into our trap and they couldn’t get the good clear chances to squeeze a goal in,” he grinned.

“In the first 10 minutes they were coming aggressively, but I think they missed a few half chances and that destroyed their spirit.

“LionsXII needed to score the early goal to upset our tactical approach. But by the time it was 20 or 30 minutes, once they couldn’t get the goal, they got frustrated and they fell into our trap, that’s all."

However, he believes the young Singapore side will need a few more games reach their maximum capability.

“This year, the LionsXII have more younger players and they need more games for them to be more sharp and have more creativity," Abdul pointed out.

The LionsXII will next face ATM FA at the Selayang Stadium on February 15.