By Abhishek Mehrotra
Sundram's men looked to be in trouble after Jean Emmanuel Effa's first-half header had given the visitors the lead going into the break.
The LIONSXII manager rang the changes in the second half, bringing in forward Syafiq Zainal and winger Gabriel Quak for Hafiz Sujad and Faritz Hameed respectively. The move paid off superbly, with Quak causing the Turtles' defence all sorts of problems on the left and Syafiq combining well with Shahfiq Ghani up front.
After Safuwan Baharudin had restored parity with a scrappy goal five minutes the hour mark, Quak was instrumental in winning the corner that led to Zainal's header winner nine minutes later to take the home side back to the top of the table on nine points along with Pahang and Selangor.
When asked what had made the difference to his team on the day, Sundram had no hesitation in pointing at his substitutes as well as the deployment of captain Shahril Ishak in a deeper midfield role.
"The two positive changes. We brought on Gabriel and Syafiq Zainal to go on the offence. [The thought was that] If we lose 1-0 or 3-0 it's still a defeat. We had to take a chance and try to get the equaliser.
"[In the] second half we were more fluid. I pulled Shahril back into midfield to start the attacks. All the attacks were coming from Shahril Ishak. He was making the penetrating passes and the penetrating runs. Syafiq Zainal and Shahfiq Ghani were getting more balls and getting more involved in the game."
It was a good result for LIONSXII after their 1-0 reversal at PKNS earlier in the week, and even though Sundram was happy with the performance of his youngsters he felt it was too early to pass judgement on them.
"It's still early, one or two games will not make the season for them. It's about the consistency, players turning up for the game, working hard for the team. It will take some time before the players mature and give what I want from them."
With both Syafiq and Shahfiq doing well, Sundram will be in a quandary about whom to start when Fazrul Nawaz returns from suspension. Not that the manager is complaining.
"It's a good headache when players step up so that no one takes their position for granted. They'll work harder in training and show me they want to play and fight for the team."
Meanwhile, Terengganu coach Marzuki Sulong admitted his side's failure to maintain their first-half dominance cost them dearly in the end.
"We were losing a lot of possession in the second 45 minutes before the goals were scored," he said.
"And it happens, because when the team is at home and down 1-0, they're pressing hard for the equaliser. When they got the equaliser through the set-piece that gave them the extra push to get the winner."
However, Sulong was not overly worried about being sucked into a relegation battle despite his team not having won a single match this season so far, with two losses and two draws.
"I don't think so.
"Yes, we have lost games but unfortunately we're playing all the tough games now.
"Of course to get that win is most important to get the momentum up. At the moment, the momentum is quite down. We need to buck up very quickly, because if not we'll get stuck down there. So it's important to look forward to the next match and see how we can improve ourselves."
Terengganu take on Pahang FA in their next Malaysia Super League match on Tuesday, January 22 while LIONSXII travel to T-Team on the same day.