Friday, 30 December 2011

Singapore and Kelantan struggle in pre-season friendlies

The anticipated blockbuster on the opening day of the Super League between Singapore’s LionsXII and Kelantan on Jan 10 may turn out to be a tame affair with both teams still struggling in their pre-season preparation.

LionsXII, marshalled by six internationals, were beaten 3-2 by Premier League side Johor in their first pre-season match last weekend before they were held 1-1 by newly promoted Super League club PKNS at the MBPJ Stadium on Wednesday.

As for Kelantan, they were edged 4-3 on aggregate by Indonesian Premier League side Persebaya in the Unity Cup after going down 3-2 in the return leg in Surabaya on the same day.

LionsXII captain Shahril Ishak felt it was an improved performance as his team managed to carve out several goal scoring opportunities against PKNS.

They face big spenders Armed Forces in their third tune-up match at the Selayang Stadium today.

“It will be another tough game, especially as we will have only a day’s rest. With Kelantan in mind, we have to be careful not to get injured as well,” Shahril told yesterday.

In Surabaya, Kelantan FA president Tan Sri Annuar Musa said his team were unlucky not to win the match.

“We learnt a lot from this match especially about our four import players. We will only pick two of them for the Super League.

“(Peter) Butler used the 4-5-1 formation first but the players failed to adapt to it. We only played well when Butler changed the formation to 4-4-2,” said Annuar.

Kelantan face east coast rivals Terengganu in their final pre-season match on Saturday.

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