Football: LionsXII not worried about poor head-to-head record against Kelantan

The LionsXII may have won just once in seven meetings with their Malaysian FA Cup opponents Kelantan, but they are unfazed by the record going into Saturday's final.

Speaking at a press conference at Kuala Lumpur's Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Friday afternoon, LionsXII coach Fandi Ahmad was all smiles and flashed the thumbs-up sign when asked about Kelantan's dominance in their encounters.

He said emphatically: "We will make sure our victory happens. (The head-to-head record) is not so good but we will make it happen."

Since the LionsXII joined Malaysian football competition in 2012, their sole victory against Kelantan came in a 1-0 home win during their triumphant 2013 Malaysian Super League (MSL) season.

This year, Fandi's men lost 0-2 in Kota Baru in their opening MSL match, but Fandi will be employing tighter marking to neutralise the Red Warriors.

Said the former Singapore captain: "In these situations, we have to go man-to-man. Kelantan has good wingers and good foreigners. We will have to try to stop before the supply of balls to the forwards starts."

Meanwhile, Kelantan coach Azraai Khor played down suggestions that the Red Warriors are the favourites, saying: "The LionsXII are a future national team and have a few national players in their team.

"The final is a different game (from the league match). It is a different match, different stadium and different environment. At the end of the 90 minutes, we want to be winners, that is the objective."

meng@sph.com.sg