Football: LionsXII blasted after they are held by second-tier Kedah in Malaysia Cup opener

SINGAPORE - The LionsXII opened their Malaysia Cup campaign with a tame 1-1 draw against Kedah on Saturday night, and the performance had coach Fandi Ahmad calling it "one of the (team's) worst games".

Even though the LionsXII extended their unbeaten record at their Jalan Besar fortress to 15 matches this season, Fandi was disappointed with his players' performance.

He said: "Their passing went astray, they were lethargic and off-colour. I didn't see any fire and desire in them."

Kedah, champions of the second-tier Malaysia Premier League, stunned the home crowd when they opened the scoring in the 17th minute, through a powerful long-range shot from 25 metres by Brazilian right-winger Sandro Mendonca.

But a minute later, Fandi's men equalised when a cross from right flanker Christopher van Huizen found an unmarked Shahdan Sulaiman, who fired a shot which deflected off Kedah defender Osman Yusoff.

The LionsXII's Safuwan Baharudin, who played as a striker, admitted after the game: "We failed in all departments."

chiazya@sph.com.sg