Fandi blasts LionsXII after another lacklustre showing
(Safuwan Baharudin 24)
(Nelson San Martin 63)
This time, there were to be no Fandi-time, no last-minute heroics.
Just a good-old hairdryer treatment to blast his misfiring LionsXII, who had 19 shots and still could not get the job done.
After seeing his side allow a beleaguered T-Team side who were pointless in four previous away games to steal a draw at Jalan Besar Stadium last night in front of 7,268 stunned home fans, LionsXII coach Fandi Ahmad stormed into the dressing room to lambast his team.
In scenes reminiscent of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's furious team talks, it is understood that Fandi blasted his boys and kicked out at some fixtures.
It was a while before the 51-year-old appeared at the post-match press conference, and he did not hold back in his assessment of his team's performance.
"This is the biggest disappointment for me this season," said Fandi in no uncertain terms, as he was stumped by his team's inability to achieve football's version of the 5Cs.
This is Fandi's biggest gripe, as the LionsXII laid siege on T-Team's goal, but just could not add to Safuwan Baharudin's 24th-minute opener.
Khairul Amri had at least four good chances, and struck the post a minute before Safuwan scored, but found T-Team goalkeeper Shahril Sa'ari in good form, while Safuwan saw an injury-time header cleared off the line by Muhd Syuhiran.
T-Team substitute Nelson San Martin then grabbed a shock equaliser through a 63rd-minute free-kick.
"If everytime we need a defender to score, something is wrong with us," said Fandi.
"If we are presented with more than a dozen chances, some very clear-cut ones, and score just one, something is wrong with us.
"Never in my coaching career have I seen my team create so many chances and not score more and win. I think I should rather play s*** football and win.
"Amri and Shahfiq (Ghani) had clear chances. Safuwan missed chances too but don't forget he is a defender. We really need to be more clinical."
He then challenged the media to suggest a striker he should sign, and added: "It's sad that we can't pick and choose players when other teams are strengthening during this transfer window.
Fandi also took issue with some players he perceived not to have pulled their weight on the pitch.
He said: "The team are immature, but please don't write that they are young... (because at this age) they are not young anymore.
"They got to be men now. They got to take responsibility. Raihan (Rahman) and Shakir (Hamzah) were putting in tackles but some players look like they don't want to get dirty."
On his day, Zulfahmi Arifin is a pass master. And there were glimpses of his ability throughout the game last night with his set-piece deliveries.
But the 22-year-old copped an unnecessary yellow for kicking out at Muhd Ramzul in the 89th minute, at a time when his team had possession and were looking to launch a counter-attack for a late winner.
This is also the midfielder's third booking which will rule him out for next Saturday's away match against Sime Darby.
With fellow midfielders Isa Halim, Hafiz Abu Sujad and Nazrul Ahmad Nazari injured, Zulfahmi should have kept his head and played it smart.
"Our problem could be psychological. We must be able to play high-level football under high pressure," said Fandi.
The LionsXII just can't seem to string a few good results together.
Crucial away wins against ATM FA (2-1) and Perak (1-0) were followed by dropped points at home against Kelantan (1-2) and now T-Team.
Fandi has also not named the same starting 11 for back-to-back matches this season, and has told The New Paper his strikers and wingers have simply not been consistent enough.
If there was one positive Fandi could pick out, it was that his team had no lack of opportunities, with his side averaging more than 10 chances per game.
"The chances are there. We just need to take it," he said, whose side remain fifth out of 12 teams following favourable results elsewhere.
"I don't think the players will forget about tonight, but we need to move on and try to get a win against Sime Darby."
LAST NIGHT'S OTHER RESULTS
l Selangor 2 PKNS 2
l Johor Darul Ta'zim 1 Sarawak 1
l Pahang 2 Perak 0
l Terengganu 1 Kelantan 1
l Sime Darby 3 ATM FA 2
l SHOTS: LionsXII 19 on target, 10 off target, T-Team 3 on target, 4 off target
l CORNERS: LionsXII 8, T-Team 3
l OFFSIDES: LionsXII 3, T-Team 1
l YELLOW CARDS: LionsXII 2 (Shahfiq Ghani, Zulfahmi Arifin), T-Team 1
l ATTENDANCE: 7,268
l MATCH RATING: 7.5/10
l REFEREE: Nagor Ali 7/10
l TNP MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Shahril Sa'ari (T-Team)
l LIONSXII: Izwan Mahbud 6.5, Faritz Abdul Hameed 7, Afiq Yunos 6.5, Safuwan Baharudin 7, Shakir Hamzah 6, Faris Ramli 6.5, Raihan Rahman 6, Zulfahmi Arifin 6, Hafiz Abu Sujad 6 (Firdaus Rahman 36) 6, Shahfiq Ghani 6 (Madhu Mohana 67), Khairul Amri 6.5
l T-TEAM:Shahril Sa'ari, Muhd Hazwan, Faizal Muhd, Fabio Flor (Marzuki Yusof 4, Nelson San Martin 45), Muhd Syuhiran, Azrul Hazran, Mohd Hasbullah, Shari Sapien, Hattaphon Bun An (Muhd Ramzul 61), Patrich Wanggai, Evaldo Goncalves
BLOW BY BLOW
The LionsXII miss another chance as Shahril Sa'ari saves Khairul Amri's shot. The T-Team goalkeeper also keeps out Faritz Hameed's follow-up.
GOAL! Safuwan Baharudin's low shot from outside the box bounces past Shahril Sa'ari.
GOAL! T-Team's Nelson San Martin equalises with a free-kick, after Shahfiq Ghani concedes a foul outside the box.
Faris Ramli tries for goal from a tight angle, but his shot goes just wide as LionsXII settle for a point.
Faris Ramli sprints past his marker and sends a low cross to Safuwan but the defender sends the shot past the post.
Attacking a corner, Safuwan leaps above the T-Team defence, but his header goes just over the bar.