Sabah Football Fan blog with news, schedule, result, statistic , records and more.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

SABAH, KEDAH SHARE POINTS


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah were forced to share points with visiting Kedah after both sides ended their Malaysia Cup Group C tie in a one-all draw at the Likas Stadium last night.

And with Perak facing a similar fate with both Sabah and Kedah after being held to a two-all draw by Pahang in Kuantan and Police notching a 4-3 victory over Sarawak at the MPS Stadium in Selayang, the race for the two quarterfinal slots from the group are still wide open for the top four teams.

Kedah remain on top of the six-team standings on 16 points followed by Perak 14, Sabah 12 and Police 11.

Sabah had the worst possible start when its keeper Irwan Jamil was stretchered out barely after 10 minutes of play.

The young custodian was forced to make way for another youngster Harold John, as he was rushed to the hospital after a clash with Kedah flanker Mohd Khyril Muhymeen Zamri, and he seemed to have suffered a head injury.

However, team manager Rahman Zakaria when contacted said that there was nothing to worry about by declaring that Irwan, who turns 20 on July 29, should make it for the Rhinos’ next game away to Armed Forces on Tuesday.

“It was a bad clash, but after a check, there was nothing serious. He had a swollen forehead, and will recover in time for our next match,” said Rahman.

Despite that, Sabah had the better first half and could have taken the lead through its striker-in-chief Charles Obi in the 23rd minute.

It started from the hardworking Salvester Sindeh who managed to outrun a Kedah defender before he squared the ball for Zainizam Marjan who then dummied for Obi. Unfortunately, the Kedah keeper Mohd Helmi Eliza was in his element to palm away Obi’s close range effort.

Towards the end of the first half, Salvester saw his attempt go wide before Harold blocked Marlon Alex James’ effort in a one-on-one situation.

But Nelson Sam Martin silenced the about 5,000 Rhinos’ fans when he struck the opener seven minutes after the break.

The Chilean midfielder unleashed a knee-high shot from inside the box during a goalmouth melee, defeating the inexperienced 22-year-old Harold.

In the 61st minute, Obi squandered the opportunity to put Sabah on level terms when his close-range effort went wide.

With 11 minutes remaining into regulation time, Sabah were awarded an indirect free-kick after the match official caught Kedah custodian kicking the ball outside the penalty box.

Chow Chee Wing made the simplest of tasks by tapping the ball for Obi to unleash a powerful grounder that deflected off a Kedah player’s leg before it went into the back of the net.

After the equaliser, Sabah tried hard to find the winner. However, it was Kedah who had the better chance and could have restored their lead in the 84th minute, but it was fortunate for Sabah as Marlon failed to connect V. Thirumurugan’s superb cross from the right.

Sabah’s next Malaysia Cup tie is up against Pahang at home on May 5 before concluding their group challenge by taking on Police in an away battle on May 26.

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