By Gabriel TanFollow @@gabetan13
Having taken the lead after just two minutes when Syazwan Tajudin's freekick sailed past a sea of bodies and found its way into the back of the net, the Malaysian outfit were then dealt a blow in the 38th minute after star forward Ridzuan Abdunloh was sent off for reacting violently to a bad tackle from Al-Qaasimy Rahman.
However, just seconds after the restart, their lead was doubled when Hanif Dzahir scored with a 35-yard screamer, which ultimately proved to be enough for the three points even though their opponents pulled one back 17 minutes from time through an Afiq Yunos header.
Although Razip has often refrained from lavishing too much praise on his young charges, he made an exception after Thursday's game and even managed to throw in a joke in the process.
"I'm really happy with the performance of the players," he said.
"But when we were one goal up and playing with 11 players, we were still not settled and were struggling with our performance. Maybe the sending off changed our fortunes.
"In the second half, with the quick goal and the discipline of the players, we managed to play better. Everyone worked to defend the goal.
"I don't know what else to say but that I'm very happy with the players, who never gave up even when a man down. Perhaps next time we should play with ten men."
Nonetheless, the former Kuala Lumpur boss was unhappy with Ridzuan's red card and was hoping his talented attacker would be able to control his temper in the future.
"What my player did for the red card was very stupid," Razip added. "He couldn't control his temper.
"That's why I'm worried because he's our best player and shouldn't do things like that. When people foul you, you don't retaliate.
"He's been our top scorer and now we'll be without him in the next few games, but I believe my other players can step up and help us score."
Razip also admitted that some might consider his team lucky to win on Thursday, especially given the number of chances their opponents created - and wasted - throughout the 90 minutes.
And while Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar did not agree with Razip's assessment that the finishing touch had been the difference between the two sides, he admitted they did waste some good opportunities.
"I think the difference is that he has had these players together for the last three years," the ex-Singapore captain said. "I've only had my boys for six to seven months.
"To have your players available day in, day out makes a big difference. I couldn't field some of my players, like Afiq Noor, as they are serving their NS [National Service] during the day.
"But in some part, I agree they have players who can score because they're willing to take shots. For us, we took shots today [Thursday] but they were off target and that's the difference."
The Young Lions are yet to record their first league win of 2013, even though they have showed improvement in recent weeks in their Starhub League Cup campaign.
And Aide, who took over at the start of the year, is determined to do whatever it takes to ensure they do not end the season without a victory.
"There are four more games [in the second round] but we still have five more games after that in the half-round," he added. "We can still can find some positives.
"It's definitely disappointing not to pick up the three points but we'll have to keep on working. We've done it in the League Cup where we beat the likes of Tampines Rovers and Warriors FC, and we must keep believing we can win games no matter who we play.
"Our next game is against Tampines so we must try our best. But now, I must try to get our morale back up so the boys can perform to expectations.
"Definitely it [not winning a single game in the season] will be a failure, but I'm not afraid of failures because they're bound to happen in anything you do. What matters is that you use the failures positively.
"I'll keep working hard to help us achieve our first win. If we don't get it, eventually we'll get it right."
Young Lions are next in action on Tuesday when they take on defending champions Tampines, while Harimau Muda are only back in action on August 26 with a trip to Home United.
Image courtesy of Axrosstheline.com (BP Chua)