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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

GONZALEZ SAVES SABAH’S BLUSHES


KOTA KINABALU: Bobby Gonzalez saved Sabah from the blushes as the Rhinos were held to a one-all draw by Shahzan Muda in a Premier League tie at the Likas Stadium last night.

The second-half substitute scored the equaliser for Sabah after Abdulafees Abdulsalam had put the visiting club side ahead in the first half.

Bobby, who came in for striker Salvester Sindeh in the 57th minute, poked the equaliser off a cross from Charles Obi.

Abdulafees stunned Sabah with his 34th minute strike after defeating two Sabah defenders before unleashing a shot from inside the box that defeated young Sabah custodian Irwan Jamil.

Despite having nothing to play for as promotion to the Super League has been decided, Sabah played their hearts out only to be denied by some poor finishing or rather lady luck seemed to shy away from them.

In fact they could have easily won the encounter with more clinical finishing.

The home side meant business right from the first whistle and could have taken a first minute lead.

The speedy Chow Chee Wing managed to outrun several Shahzan Muda players before his cross found the unmarked Obi, who was just outside the penalty box, but unfortunately the lanky Nigerian failed to take a shot as he failed to control the ball with a Shahzan Muda player challenging him.

After that, Sabah created numerous half-chances at the Shahzan Muda goal, but none found the net.

Instead they were penalised as some poor defending saw Abdulafees unleash a shot from close range to beat the hapless Irwan.

After the break, Sabah had an early raid at the Shahzan Muda goalmouth and again it was the lively Chow the contributor.

From the left, Chow managed to centre for Obi, but unfortunately Obi’s close-range attempt went wide.

In the 48th minute, Rosdin Wasli had already managed to connect a corner taken by Chow, but only to find it hitting the goalpost.

Then in the 66th minute, this time it was Chow who was denied from putting Sabah on level terms as his freekick from outside the box hit the cross-bar.

But Shahzan Muda could have extended their lead in the 70th minute when Abdulafees only had Irwan to beat, and fortunately for Sabah his shot was blocked by Irwan.

Three minutes later, this time Ahmad Tharmini Sabah denied Abdulafees from netting his second goal as the steady Sabah hard-man cleared the ball off the line.

And in the 79th minute, Sabah were not to be denied the equaliser when S. Sunder managed to send a superb ball for Obi who then centered it for Bobby to poke home.

A minute later, Obi shot wide from close range as Chow’s cross found him unmarked at the far post.

Towards the end, both teams had their chances to take the game, but only to be denied by poor finishing.

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