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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Rhinos target top three finish


Kota Kinabalu: Sabah are aiming for a top three finish in the league and judging by Tuesday's 2-1 away win over league leaders UPB-MyTeam FC, they may just get to do it.

The Rhinos' hard-fought win proved that their earlier 3-1 win over the same side at Likas in the first round was no fluke. It was in Likas that UPB-MyTeam FC's eight game winning streak came to an end, gored by the Rhinos.

Team manager Rahman Zakaria said he was buoyed by the fact that the young players could rise to the occasion adding that Sabah had fielded six players under the age of 21 against UPB-MyTeam FC.

The six were goalkeeper Irwan Jamil, midfielders Mohd. Radzi Hussin, Julamri Mohammad, Hardy Parsi, Azrul Ejati and defender P.Rajes.

Radzi scored Sabah's first goal against UPB-MyTeam FC with a stunning freekick in the 23rd minute while the winner came from the impressive Nigerian import Prince Ijiebor Ative in the 90th. Croatian Marin Mikac scored for the home side.

Rahman said the score could have been bigger if the striking duo of Charles Obi and Ative had taken their chances but nevertheless the manager was happy with the overall performance of the team.

He also saluted the 200-odd Sabahans working at the Klang Valley for their support on Tuesday saying their presence boosted the team's spirit.

The combination of the young and old by coach Drago Mamic gave Sabah a fresh new look, with the youngsters adding flair and energy while the old anchored the team with experience, he said.

On promotion to the Super League, he said Sabah had a realistic chance but so do the other teams in the Premier League, adding that the team will concentrate on winning and not be bothered by the rankings.

" The important thing is that the players maintain the team's good run and play well," he said. Sabah are currently fourth in the Premier League with 17 points from four wins, five draws and two losses. They trail league leaders UPB-MyTeam FC by seven points with nine matches to go.

Sabah are also in contention for the Malaysia Cup as well as the FA Cup.

Sabah will travel to Kuching this weekend where they face bottom side Sarawak in a Malaysia Cup match.

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