Football: LionsXII stage rousing fightback to earn 2-2 draw at Johor Darul Takzim

Last season, he had a team full of stars but was unable to gel them together but this year, given a young side, Fandi Ahmad is proving his mettle as a football coach.

Back at old club Johor Darul Takzim, the LionsXII tactician pulled another rabbit out of the hat when the Singapore outfit battled to a 2-2 Malaysian Super League (MSL) draw after going two goals down at half-time.

Argentinian superstar Pablo Aimar was in the thick of it all, creating the opener for striker Luciano Figueroa in the 28th minute before scoring a free-kick himself three minutes before the break.

But a minute after Aimar was replaced in the 66th minute, Khairul Amri headed home defender Madhu Mohana's long throw to reduce the deficit. And another minute later, Safuwan Baharudin's shot was spilled and emergency left-back Hafiz Abu Sujad swooped in to equalise.

Fandi will have gained sweet satisfaction from this creditable draw. The 51-year-old former Singapore captain resigned from Johor last year amidst rumours of player power behind the scenes.

The LionsXII, the defending MSL champions with an average age of just 22.5 years, started their campaign with a 1-0 defeat in Pahang but last week, they battled Selangor all the way to stoppage time before Amri scored the winner in a last-gasp 2-1 win for their first victory of the season.

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