Pahang's Matias Conti (centre) scored the solitary goal of the match against Lions XII in the curtain-raiser Charity Shield. Pahang won 1-0.
KUANTAN: Pahang started their Super League campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Lions XII and lifted the Sultan Ahmad Shah Charity Shield after 20 years.
Substitute striker Matias Conti, who just turned 24 on Friday, celebrated by scoring the winner in the 57th minute but it was the defending champions Lions XII who stole the show with their gritty performance.
The Singaporeans, under coach Fandi Ahmad, proved that they are still a force to be reckoned with despite being without any foreigners and stalwarts Hariss Harun, Baihakki Khaizan and Shahril Ishak, who have moved on to join the Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) this season.
Pahang started with their best men including new towering striker Dickson Nwakaeme. But he was substituted with Argentine Conti barely 15 minutes into play after the former Kelantan striker picked up an injury.
It was Jamaican defender Damion Stewart who had the best chance of the half when he ballooned the ball from close range in the 33rd minute.