SINGAPORE - The LionsXII produced what is arguably one of their best performances of the season when they humbled Malaysian Super League leader and Malaysia Cup holders Pahang 4-2 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Singapore side's crushing win snapped Pahang's 12-match unbeaten run, which included 11 wins and a draw.
Although he was facing the league leaders who were 14 points ahead of his team before this match, coach Fandi Ahmad opted to take the game to the visitors with a high-tempo pressing game.
The pressure paid dividends in the 17th minute when defender Zesh Rehman's clearance was headed back into the box by winger Nazrul Nazari and Faris Ramli showed cheeky skills by flicking the ball over a defender before rolling the ball into the net between goalkeeper Khairul Azhan Khalid's legs.
Centre-back Madhu Mohana doubled the lead in the 30th minute when he was unmarked to power home an emphatic header off Zulfahmi Arifin's corner.
But two minutes before half-time, forward Fauzi Roslan's cross from the right was glanced home by Argentinian forward Matias Conti.
The LionsXII's two-goal cushion was restored on the hour mark when substitute forward Sahil Suhaimi teed up Faris and the winger's low shot was deflected past the stranded Khairul by the outstretched leg of captain Razman Roslan.
And in the 85th minute, substitute winger Christopher van Huizen's inswinging corner was controlled by Safuwan Baharudin, who smashed the ball into the net with his left foot.
But Pahang managed to score a late consolation two minutes into stoppage time when powerful Nigerian forward Dickson Nwakaeme squared the ball for winger R. Surendran to scramble home.