Razman: Beware embarrassed LionsXII
The Elephants have one foot in the last four after a resounding 4-1 win over the FA Cup winners at the Darul Makmur Stadium earlier this week.
On any other occasion, the return leg would attract little attention. But this time around, the match could be LionsXII’s last in the M-League after the Singaporean set-up were unceremoniously shown the door by Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) this week.
For this reason, Razman is fearing a backlash – one that Pahang must be ready to counter or risk throwing away their hard work in the first leg.
“We shouldn’t have conceded in the first leg. That, and the decision not invite LionsXII to compete in our competitions, is a game changer,” Razman said.
“The match could attract a full turnout for one last hurrah and the team will want to go out with a bang. They will surely play harder than ever and that is dangerous.
“We can’t forget that LionsXII are the FA Cup winners … they have quality players in their ranks.
“Playing at the Jalan Besar Stadium is always tough. We have to be on alert at all times and find the back of the net at least once to cancel their away goal advantage.”
Pahang entered the knock-out stages after a near disastrous group stage, where they struggled to finish second despite being drawn with two Malaysia Premier League (MPL) side – PKNS and Penang – and PDRM.
Pahang suffered big 4-1 defeats to both PKNS and Penang but managed to muster enough points to finish behind Group D winners PKNS.
LionsXII ran 4-2 winners in Pahang’s last visit to the Republic, back in August for the Malaysia Super League (MSL). LionsXII have not lost at home all year, winning 12 of their 17 matches.
Interestingly, Pahang were the last team to defeat LionsXII in Singapore when they won 2-1 in last year’s Malaysia Cup group stage.