Captain Shahril Ishak's brace, along with Shahdan Sulaiman's neatly taken effort and Sufian's magnificent efforts, saw the LIONSXII continue their impressive start to their inaugural season in the Malaysia Super League, and condemn high-flying Negri to their second defeat of the season.
Before the match, much had been made of Negri's dangerous striking duo of Jean Emmanuel Effa Owona and Ahmad Shakir Ali. Instead, it was LIONSXII forward Sufian who stole the show with a sumptuous display that reinforced exactly what the Singapore outfit had been missing in the final third.
In a fast and furious start, it was LIONSXII, who started much the brighter with Sufian, in as a replacement for the disappointing Agu Casmir, leading the line superbly.
Bright, physical and an ever-willing runner, Sufian's astute runs off his man proved a constant early threat to a seemingly out-of-sorts Negri backline. In an instant the LIONSXII resembled a team transformed.
Gone was the sluggish forward play all too evident in their earlier games in Malaysia's top-flight, replaced instead by speed, vitality and a creditable quickness of thought where it matters most. For the LIONSXII faithful, it was a joy to behold.
With Sufian to the fore, it was little surprise that the game's first real chance fell to the former Home United man, his powerful run and shot in the 13th minute smartly smothered by visiting goalkeeper Farizal Marlias.
From the resulting corner, and amid confusion galore in the Negri penalty area, Hariss Harun scuffed his effort, before Sufian, under pressure, failed to connect properly when only five yards out.
As Shahril Ishak orchestrated affairs, LIONSXII continued to prod and probe, although Negri's Shahurain Abu Samah could, and perhaps should, have handed his side the lead, his 25th-minute effort sailing over Izwan Mahbud's bar after he was neatly set up by danger man Effa Owona.
Just after the half-hour mark, LIONSXII were ahead.
Shahdan's whipped cross was met by Shahurain's outstretched arm. Penalty decreed referee Nagor Amir Noor Mohammad. Shahril calmly stepped up to score past Farizal with ease.
It could have got better for the hosts had Safuwan Baharudin not planted a header from Shaiful Esah's corner narrowly wide on the stroke of half-time.
Any hope Negri had of salvation disappeared within 15 desperately poor minutes of the restart.
First, and with the Negri defence conspicuously absent, Shahdan drilled the ball home following Sufian's delightful backheel pass, before the livewire Sufian broke free and crossed to an unmarked Shahril who made no mistake from close quarters.
It was the least LIONSXII deserved in what was their most vibrant display this season. Two late misses for that man Sufian and Firdaus Azizul's late strike for Negri failed to take any gloss off the win.
For this was a night when LIONSXII, thanks to the brilliant Sufian, finally sharpened their attacking claws. The hard part may well be maintaining this level of performance.