THE LionsXII put themselves in prime position for a semi-final berth after a 2-0 victory over 10-man Johor Darul Takzim II (JDT II) in the first leg of their Malaysia FA Cup quarter-final at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Singapore national stalwart, Baihakki Khaizan, had a night to forget on his return to the Lions' den after a late tackle on Raihan Rahman in the 81st minute saw the defender receive a second yellow card and an early trip back to the dressing room.
Coach Fandi Ahmad's side had raced into an early lead in the fourth minute when Khairul Amri capitalised on Izuan Jarudin's hesitant defending to turn the defender and steer his shot past goalkeeper Che Rashid.
The strike was the forward's fourth goal of the season and third in the Cup.
Substitute Christopher van Huizen then added an all-important second goal in the dying minutes of the match with a superb strike from just outside the box. His left-footed curler came in the second minute of added time.
Singapore national captain Shahril Ishak and Baihakki will be hoping for a better result when their team welcome the LionsXII to Johor for the second leg of the quarter-final tie, which will be played at the Pasir Gudang Stadium on April 22.
The LionsXII's next match is a Malaysian Super League tie against the senior Johor side, JDT at Jalan Besar on April 11.