Captain Shahril Ishak's brace earned Singapore's LionsXII a 3-1 victory over last season's Malaysia Cup champions Negeri Sembilan at the Jalan Besar Stadium yesterday.
Negeri played below par on the artificial pitch against a spirited Lions side determined to earn their first victory in three matches.
Lions were awarded a spot kick after Negeri's Shahurain Abu Samah handled the ball in the penalty box in the 31st minute and Shahril easily converted it past goalkeeper Farizal Marlias.
Shahdan Sulaiman added their second five minutes after the breather before Shahril got his name on the scoresheet in the 60th minute.
Lions were unlucky not to increase their lead after attempts from Sufian Anuar and Irwan Shah went wide in the closing stages.
Firdaus Azizul reduced the deficit for Negri four minutes into injury time.