PICTURES

LionsXII begin Malaysia Cup campaign with 2-2 draw against Kedah

(From left) LionsXII players Faris Ramli, Baihakki Khaizan and Shahfiq Ghani celebrate Shahfiq's goal against Kedah. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
(From left) LionsXII players Faris Ramli, Baihakki Khaizan and Shahfiq Ghani celebrate Shahfiq's goal against Kedah. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
Shahril Ishak beats Kedah goalkeeper Abdul Hadi to head in the LionsXII's first goal from Fazrul Nawaz's cross from the left flank. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
Shahril Ishak beats Kedah goalkeeper Abdul Hadi to head in the LionsXII's first goal from Fazrul Nawaz's cross from the left flank. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
Shahfiq Ghani (centre) celebrates his goal with Faritz Hameed. The forward scored with a 25-metre free kick but the LionsXII could only draw 2-2 against Kedah in their opening Malaysia Cup Group D match at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday, Au
Shahfiq Ghani (centre) celebrates his goal with Faritz Hameed. The forward scored with a 25-metre free kick but the LionsXII could only draw 2-2 against Kedah in their opening Malaysia Cup Group D match at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

The LionsXII began their campaign for the Malaysia Cup with a 2-2 draw against Kedah in their opening Group D match at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night.

The hosts took the lead after 11 minutes when forward Fazrul Nawaz dispossessed defender Fariss Azlan before delivering a cross from the left flank for captain Shahril Ishak to nod into an empty net.

Kedah responded through Croatian striker Alen Guc, who equalised from close range in the 23rd minute.

The match escalated into a series of niggly fouls before forward Shahfiq Ghani's 25-metre free kick curled into the bottom corner.

Just when the Malaysian Super League champions thought they had sealed all three points, defender Shakir Hamzah brought down Syafiq Ahmad inside the box two minutes into stoppage time and Guc stepped up to convert the penalty.