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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Rhinos gunning for victory

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah will be gunning for victory when they meet Johor FC in their FA Cup second round clash at J-Corp Stadium in Johor, Tuesday.

Manager Rahman Zakaria said the players are all raring to don their soccer boots and prove the 2-1 win over Malacca in the first round encounter at home recently was no fluke.

The win, he said has given a breath of confidence to the Rhino players to erase the bitter memory of being shown the exit in the first round last season.

"We are ready to face Johor FC and I hope we can move one step further to qualify for the FA Cup quarter-finals," he said when contacted on Monday.

The manager said he believes his charges would be able to deliver during the away game today (Tuesday).

He said based on the players' spirit and determination, the fans can hope to see good football forthcoming from his outfit that he described as being fit for any given match.

The Rhinos have won the FA Cup only once in the history of the decades-old tournament under the helm of coach Kelly Tham when they beat Pahang 3-1 in the finals in 1995.

"I hope our players will give 100 per cent to the game and I strongly believe they will be able to deliver," he said.

While Rahman declined to name the players for the Tuesday clash, it was learnt that Polish midfielder Arkadiusz Jerzy Zarlzynski or better known as "Eric" would most likely be axed from the team.

However, so far there hasn't been any hints from the state's football governing body, Sabah FA (Safa), to acquire a new foreign import.

The manager, who is an officer with the Road Transport Department (RTD), nevertheless, said the players are all ready to face Johor FC.

"Even though we cannot assess our opponent's strength and strategy, our team is not daunted.

"They are all set for the competition and will be playing to win," he said.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has changed the FA Cup format to a knockout system unlike the previous two leg system.

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