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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

BANKING ON DUO


KOTA KINABALU: The Rhinos will be looking at their new signings – a Brazilian striker and Bosnian defender – to help them end their Premier League campaign on a winning note.

The Rhinos will take on Selangor PKNS in their final game of the season in an away battle at the MPPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya tonight, and both Felisberto de Oliveira Freira Jr and Dragic Dalidor are expected to be in Drago Mamic’s game plan.

Team manager Rahman Zakaria said that they are working on some minor technical issues that need to be resolved before the duo could take to the battlefield.

“There are one or two technical things that need to be settled, but I’m quite convinced that both of them will be cleared tomorrow,” said Rahman, while declining to elaborate further on the issue.

Both striker Felisberto and the six-foot-tall Bosnia-Herzegovina defender Dragic replaced the already departed Nigerian duo of Prince Ativie Guy and Prince Eboagwa Etuwe.

While Sabah may want to end their campaign in the best possible finish – third placing – but based on the standings, fourth placing could well be their best finish, and that is if they can win tonight’s battle.

For Sabah to end their season in third spot, they must beat PKNS and hope that the Shahzan Muda-Johor PG tie ends in a draw. There are two matches left – the Sabah vs PKNS and the Shahzan Muda vs Johor Pasir Gudang ties to officially end the Premier League 2006/07 challenge.

At the moment, PKNS occupy the third spot behind eventual winners Police and second-placed UPB-MyTEAM, on 29 points, while Shahzan Muda are fourth on 28 followed by Johor PG and Sabah in fifth and sixth respectively.

Johor PG and Sabah are level on 27 points but the southern state team stay ahead of Sabah on a better goal average.

“No promises, but what I can assure is that we will try the best we can to win the game. It has been quite a long break, and I hope our trip to Brunei (friendly games) recently will do the players some good,” added Rahman.

Nigerian striker Charles Obi will spearhead the Rhinos’ attack with new boy Felisberto his likely striking partner.

In midfield, Rosdin Wasli and Chow Chee Wing will be the main men, while P. Rajes is likely to be at the right of midfield with Zulamri Muhammad on the left.

Ahmad Tharmini Saiban is likely to have a new partner in the heart of the Rhinos’ defence in Dragic, while Ronny Harun is expected to be on the right while S. Sunder on the left.

Irwan Jamil will be the goalkeeper.

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