Sundram confident the goals will come for Lions
Chances created and attacking options on the bench in Sahil and Shahril give Sundram hope
The joke at the final whistle was that the pitch invader made more of a breakthrough than both Singapore and Malaysia in the goalless stalemate at the National Stadium last night.
The serious issue is that with V Sundramoorthy in charge, whether on a caretaker or permanent basis, the Lions have scored just five goals in 11 official internationals.
Last night, the Lions peppered Malaysia's goal with 13 shots and struck the crossbar three times via Khairul Amri, Hariss Harun and Daniel Bennett, all from corners, and still could not net one.
Later in the second half, right back Faritz Abdul Hameed had the best chance of the game from open play when Singapore went route one with Hassan Sunny's long goal-kick knocked down by Amri for Faritz to go one-on-one with Khairulazhan Khalid, only for the goalkeeper to make the save.
But the Singapore coach remains unfazed and is confident that his players will start firing when the Suzuki Cup starts next month.
The 51-year-old said: "It was a positive performance and we were unlucky. We should have won by two or three and we were also denied a penalty in the second half.
"It is definitely more difficult to hit the post than to put the ball in in those instances and, if they awarded two goals for each time we hit the post, we would have got six.
"But seriously, I believe we will be better at the Suzuki Cup and if I had a choice, I would rather we score then than now."
At least, Sundram and the Singapore fans should be heartened by the energetic and purposeful performance by the Lions' front-line.
Fullbacks Juma'at Jantan and Faritz were enterprising, dovetailing well with wingers Faris Ramli and Gabriel Quak in front of them.
Amri was a handful for defenders as usual with his quick turn of pace and clever drawing of fouls.
Even the usually shot-shy central midfielders Hariss Harun and Izzdin Shafiq made Khairulazhan work for his clean sheet.
Sundram also had some semblance of depth on his bench, and was able to call upon playmaker Shahril Ishak and striker Sahil Suhaimi.
He said: "It is a good problem to have players thinking and fighting for their spots.
"I believe the goals will come."
Shahril, who won his 135th cap, showed some nice touches linking up with Amri, and Sahil was a bright spark after his 75th-minute introduction.
The 24-year-old fizzed just wide two minutes after coming on, forced a corner, caused Malaysia right back Rizal Ghazali to get booked, and even connected with a spectacular overhead kick seven minutes from time that went straight at the goalkeeper.
Sahil, who has just one goal from 18 caps, said: "I'm happy to be playing and giving my best for the team.
"Definitely, I feel I should have scored more for my country, but most of my appearances were off the bench or on the wing, so it was difficult.
"But it has been three years since I made my international debut and I feel I have matured.
"I'm playing more in my best position as a striker and I will continue to work hard to get the goals for the team."
Shahril added: "Tonight, we dominated and controlled the game but, in the end, if you don't score, you can't win.
"We have shown we are capable of doing it during training. Now, it's all about bringing it on matchdays."
"If they awarded two goals for each time we hit the post, we would have got six."
- Lions coach V Sundramoorthy