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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

ALL GUNS BLAZING


KOTA KINABALU: An all out attack will be the name of the game as Sabah fight for survival in the prestigious Malaysia Cup competition.

Tonight they face Negeri Sembilan NAZA in the quarter-finals return leg tie at the Tawau Sports Complex field needing to overcome a one-goal deficit following their first leg defeat last week.

The match kicks off at 8.45pm.

The Malaysia Cup is Sabah’s only hope left (of winning silverware) after being shown the exit door in the last eight of the FA Cup challenge and finishing sixth in the Premier League campaign.

Despite playing at an unfamiliar hunting ground after switching their home venue from the usual Likas Stadium to the Tawau Sports Complex field, the Rhinos will stop at nothing to gain entry into the next stage of the tournament.

Even Rahman Zakaria predicts that it is going to be a fiery encounter as they are not willing to end their season empty handed yet again.

While the Rhinos’ team manager does not want to be seen as over confident, but he believes they have what it takes to turn the table around on their opponents.

He said what is important is for the team to execute the head coach Drago Mamic’s game plan.

If they can do that, he believes they stand a good chance of winning the do-or-die battle.

Rahman also warns the players from being under any kind of pressure.

He said despite the fact that it is a must win tie, it is not necessary for the players to be in such a state.

“We all know this is a crucial game … not only for us but for Negeri Sembilan NAZA too. But I think we will go into the game as underdogs because as you can see, they are a Super League side. Furthermore they are holding a one-goal cushion.

“The pressure is on them so there is no point for us to put ourselves under any kind of pressure. We have nothing to lose and there is no harm for us to give it a good shot,” said Rahman while wanting the team to concentrate fully on the game.

He also urged the players to play their hearts out and to try to win the game and prove that they have the mettle to compete at this level of competition.

“The coach has his own game plan and it is important for the team to execute it properly,” added Rahman.

Croatian Drago is likely to stick to his twin foreign strikers in the Rhinos’ attack with Charles Obi and Brazilian Felisberto de Oliveira Freira Jr.

While in midfield, skipper Rosdin Wasli and youngster Hardy Charles Parsi would be in the middle of the park with Chow Chee Wing on the right and P. Rajesh on the left.

New Bosnian signing Dragic Dalidor will give the Rhinos that extra muscle at the backline with the ever reliable Ahmad Tharmini Saiban, R. Suresh and Mohd Munir Amran all likely to start alongside the former at the back.

Youngster Irwan Jamil will again be the number one ball stopper.

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