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Shamir Osman
Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013
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Malaysia Cup: Superb Safuwan

The New Paper | Shamir Osman | Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013

Singapore's Safuwan Baharudin celebrating his strike at the Malaysia Cup match.

LIONSXII 2 (Hariss Harun 61, Safuwan Baharudin 85)
PERAK 1 (Noor Hazrul 66)

SINGAPORE - His first touch was sublime, his second allowed him to size up the situation.

The third stands, at this point, as the most important touch of the ball by a LionsXII player in the Malaysia Cup campaign.

And it was stunning.

With the score at 1-1 and just five minutes left on the clock, Safuwan Baharudin expertly controlled an Izwan Mahbud punt, and sent a stylish lob into the far corner of Farizal Marlias' goal.

That moment of inspiration from the central defender saw the LionsXII post a crucial 2-1 win over Perak at the Jalan Besar Stadium last night, a result that has brought the Malaysian Super League champions back from the brink of elimination in Group D of the Malaysia Cup.

"After that free-kick (Noor Hazrul's 66th -minute equaliser) I did think that our Malaysia Cup campaign was over," said a relieved V Sundramoorthy, who could even afford a chuckle after the game.

"Safuwan's goal completely changed our day."

The result saw Sundram's charges move three points behind the top two teams in the group, Sarawak and Perak, with two games remaining for each side.