It was a disastrous outcome for LionsXII in their second Malaysia Cup Group D tie as they ended the match with ten men and went home empty ended with Sarawak coming away 2-1 victors.
There were signs of heebie-jeebies for the Malaysia Super League champions early in the game as they were met with physical and theatrical play by the Premier League outfit.
Robert Alberts side got the upper hand as early as the 11th minute when Ronny Harun’s long throw in was not dealt with properly by Izwan Mahbud and the loose ball ricochet off Shakir Hamzah’s back and into the net.
With captain Shahril Ishak starting from the bench, V.Sundramoorthy opted for Aqhari Abdullah who was slotted just behind lone striker Fazrul Nawaz.
Although there were crosses coming in from both flank by LionsXII, Fazrul was looking like a lost soul upfront, unable to connect any decent header or attempt on goal in the match.
There were nervy moments for the visitors towards the end of first half as central defender Safuwan Bahrudin went down unchallenged, clutching his right knee.
Thankfully for LionsXII, there were nothing serious with Safuwan’s injury and the lanky player was able to lead the backline alongside Baihakki Khaizan after the restart.
The second half saw the introduction of Singapore skipper Shahril Ishak coming on for Hafiz Sujad and his presence added life and spice in the team.
But there was nothing captain marvel could do as his side a man down and further behind midway through the second half.
Substitute Shahfiq Ghani foolishly caught Muamer Salibasic in the face in the sixteen yards box, with the assistant referee swift to raise his flag indicating the foul and the referee did not hesitate to point to the spot and showed the LionsXII player the red card.
Captain Joseph Kalang Tie made no mistake from the penaly as he sent Izwan the wrong way sparking wild celebrations in the stadium in the 70th minute.
The visitors were given a lifeline six minutes later as they surge forward in numbers and Hariss Harun brilliantly turned his marker and delivers the ball to the far post which was bundled across the goal-line by Safuwan.
But the goal count for nothing as LionsXII remained winless in Group D after their Malaysia Cup opener ended in a 2-2 draw with Kedah FA.