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Shafiq rescues point for LionsXII

IPOH – Substitute Shafiq Ghani scored what could be the goal of the Malaysian Super League season to secure a 1-1 draw for the LionsXII at Perak tonight.

IPOH – Substitute Shafiq Ghani scored what could be the goal of the Malaysian Super League season to secure a 1-1 draw for the LionsXII at Perak tonight.

The LionsXII started the match very poorly and were lucky to go into the break level as a combination of good goalkeeping from Izwan Mahbud and determined defending kept the home side at bay.

Luck also played a huge part for the LionsXII. Perak striker Azlan Ismail goal was ruled out for offside, but television replays showed that LionsXII defender Shakir Hamzah had handled the ball in the penalty area during the build-up.

The breakthrough finally came for Perak near the hour-mark. Brazilian striker Paolo Rangel latched on to a rebound in the penalty area and fired it into the net to give his side a 1-0 lead.

Shafiq Ghani was brought on shortly after that to replace winger Safirul Sulaiman and the move paid off.

The striker leveled the scores in the 76th minute when his free-kick from 25 yards out cannoned off the crossbar to go over the line and into the back of the net.

The match ended on a sour note as both sets of players engaged in a free-for-all following the referee’s decision to deny Perak a penalty and send one of their players off.

The LionsXII will next play Felda United in July 2 at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

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