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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Rhinos aim to upset Kedah

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah are ready to make amends for their loss to Sarawak last weekend when they host group leaders Kedah in a Malaysia Cup match on Saturday at the Likas Stadium.

Fresh from their 2-0 win over Kuala Lumpur in the Premier League on Tuesday, the Rhinos will want to restore their unbeaten streak as well as stay in contention for a Malaysia Cup quarter-final berth.

Third in Group C with 11 points, Sabah can be expected to field their best players against Kedah, who are also the Super League leaders. Perak are in second place with 13 points while PDRM, Sarawak and Pahang are in fourth, fifth and sixth spots respectively.

Kedah go into the match as favourites and with top-scorer Marlon Alex James expected to lead the attack, Sabah may well be in for a tough match.

James has scored 12 goals in the Super League and another six goals in the Malaysia Cup thus, he will definitely be a marked man on Saturday. Sabah also have their star in Charles Obi but coach Drago Mamic will have a tough decision in choosing Obi's partner in attack.

Sylvester Sindih, the second half-substitute who scored Sabah's first goal against Kuala Lumpur may get the nod ahead of Nigerian Prince Ijiebor Ativie who missed a couple of good chances against the City Boys.

It was the lanky Sylvester who scored in the one-all draw against Kedah in the first round encounter at Alor Setar.

Alternatively, Mamic may include both players in the match with Sylvester operating from midfield and Ativie partnering Obi. Hard-tackling Rosdin Wasli, speedy winger Chow Chee Wing and Radzi Hussein or Julamri Muhamad are expected to complete the midfield department.

Marshalling the defence are likely to be international Ronny Harun and Nigerian Prince Eboagwu Etuew together with P. Rajes and Ahmad Tharmini Saiban.

In goal would be Irwan Jamil, the young goalkeeper who is improving in confidence with each game he plays, thanks to the coaching experience of former state and national goalie Khairul Azman Mohammad.

Sabah's probable line-up: Irwan Jamil (GK); Ronny Harun, Prince Eboagwu Etuew, P.Rajes, Ahmad Tharmini Saiban, Sylvester Sindih (or Julamri Mohd.), Rosdin Wasli, Chow Chee Wing, Mohd. Radzi Hussein, Charles Obi, Prince Ijiebor Ativie.

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