By Gabriel TanFollow @@gabetan13
Following a goalless first half, Hariss Harun, Nazrul Nazari and Khairul Nizam struck to hand the Singaporean outfit a routine victory over the Red Ants, who managed an injury-time consolation through a Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh header.
The result helped LIONSXII extend their lead at the top of the table to four points and although they are only next in action on June 22, due to the upcoming international break, Sundramoorthy is already preparing for what he believes will be a decisive clash against closest challengers Darul Takzim.
"We are getting close to the title," he said. "There are four games more to go and most important now is the [game on the] 22nd [of June].
"If we get something against Johor [Darul Takzim], we should pull away from them.
"It will then be between us and ATM and that's important."
The legendary Singaporean forward was also pleased with the hunger his players displayed on Monday and revealed he had asked them to remain focused after they had failed to break down their opponents in the opening 45.
"The boys believe in themselves, especially when playing at Jalan Besar," Sundramoorthy explained. "They have to desire to go out there and win the game.
"In the first half we had a couple of chances but the keeper made a few good saves; our corner kicks were being delivered into the zone. Overall we needed the break from Hariss to really change the game and when Nizam scored after a long injury layoff, it was the icing on the cake.
"The boys are hungry to win the title and they have the desire. Let's now support them and we will try to finish the season well.
"They already put themselves on top of the table," he revealed, when asked what he said to his players at the break. "I told them working hard and making good decisions on and off the ball would make a lot of difference in the next 45 minutes.
"We are playing on our home ground so the game is there for the taking, but no other team is going to help you. The boys realised the importance of getting the result in the next 45 minutes and they did it.
"I think they've done great and they should be applauded."
Given the LIONSXII's dominant form at home this season - they've won all their games at the Jalan Besar Stadium - PKNS coach Abdul Rahman Ibrahim admitted his charges were facing a monumental challenge from the beginning.
"I think when we came down here it was an impossible task to win," he said.
"What we tried to do was to delay the [LIONSXII] goal for as long as possible."
Abdul Rahman also lamented an injury to Slovakian midfielder Roman Chmelo, who picked up an injury right before halftime and had to be replaced at the break, as he believes his absence cost them dearly in the opening 15 minutes of the second period, when they conceded goals to Hariss and Nazrul.
"We set out to play more defensively and go on the counterattack," he explained. "In the first half we were very organised and disciplined.
"We had two of our import players - Patrick up front and Roman behind him. Roman was controlling the game for us; he has leadership qualities, was giving instructions and had good touches - he was giving that quality.
"But when he got injured and we replaced him with a younger player [Nazrin Syamsul], our midfield was lost and not playing our game.
"I told them the minimum we had to hold on for after halftime was 20 to 25 minutes as he would then make the LIONSXII frustrated. But to concede after eight minutes was very bad, and shortly after the second goal followed - the game was finished."
And with just four games left to play, the PKNS boss believes LIONSXII are favourites to win the title, something he believes is not necessarily a bad thing for Malaysian football.
"Last year I was asked the same question [whether LIONSXII could win the league]," Abdul Rahman revealed. "Then, I said they were not quite ready; the Malaysian teams like Kelantan and Terengganu were too strong at that time.
"This year, the top Malaysian teams have been diluted by Darul Takzim and the best players are spread to many teams. I think they [LIONSXII] have the edge.
"There are only four games to go and if they stay disciplined and organised they can collect the points, but I don't think they'll even need all four matches. The second, third and fourth-placed teams will kill each other and I think [LIONSXII] will be champions.
"They have that discipline, motivation and will. Kelantan are finished, Terengganu are finished; there's only ATM left but even they rely on one or two players most of the time.
"It [LIONSXII winning the league] will create interest because everyone will be looking at Singapore. When they cup goes across the Causeway, new interest and feelings are generated.
"They [the Malaysian sides] will want to take the cup back as this is the history of Malaysian football."
Despite Monday's defeat, PKNS remain seventh on the table and are all but guaranteed top-flight football for another season.
Image courtesy of FAS (Tommy Low)