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Tuesday, August 14, 2007


KOTA KINABALU: Tawau football fans will be in for a treat when the Rhinos face Negeri Sembilan NAZA in a do-or-die battle on Wednesday.

The match to be played at the newly completed Tawau Sports Complex field is believed to be one of the biggest matches being held there.

The Malaysia Cup quarter-final return leg clash is expected to be an explosive affair, especially when the Rhinos will be out to overturn their one-goal deficit following their first leg defeat last week.

This will make this clash one that is not to be missed, especially among the football fans in Tawau and its surrounding areas, as this is a rare chance for them to see a match of this level being held outside the State Capital.

Yesterday, Rahman Zakaria echoed the move by the Sabah FA President Datuk Anifah Aman in urging the football fans in the district to come out in full force to witness this so-called historical event.

Rahman said a capacity crowd at the estimated 10,000 capacity complex will surely help the team.

“This is the only competition that we have not won, and since we are pretty much still in the race for a place in the semi-finals, I really hope for an all-out turnout from the Tawau fans. Their support will surely be crucial for the team,” the Rhinos’ team manager said.

“We certainly need their (fans) attendance as it could help instill greater spirit, determination and commitment among our players.

“So, I really hope the fans in Tawau and its surrounding areas, such as Lahad Datu and Semporna come and support the team.

“Although we may be trailing by one goal, I believe that we have a chance to claim one of the semi-final slots.

On the Rhinos switching of their hunting ground from the Likas Stadium to the Tawau Sports Complex field, Rahman said that it does not bother him or the team.

He added that it makes no difference as they will still be playing a home game.

“What is important,” Rahman said is that they must try to capitalise on their slight homeground advantage to gun down their opponents.

The Rhinos were forced to shift out from their usual home venue – the Likas Stadium – after a switchbox at the Likas Stadium was damaged sometime ago.

“It’s true we have to play our match at the Tawau Sports Complex, but as far as we are concerned it is still the same for us. It makes no difference whether we are playing at the Likas Stadium or the Tawau Sports Complex because it is still a home game, and hopefully the newly completed Tawau Sports Complex will bring us some luck,” said Rahman.

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