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Wednesday, February 13, 2008


KOTA KINABALU: The Rhinos got a pat on the back for their never-say-die attitude in the narrow 1-0 win over Shahzan Muda of Pahang in a Premier League tie at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan on Monday.

Rahman Zakaria said the players deserved to be praised as they fought their hearts out until the final whistle.

The Rhinos’ team manager added that if not for their spirited display until the end, it could have been another wasted outing for the team.

“I’m very happy with the way the players fought their hearts out. Even when the match was heading for a scoreless draw, they never showed any signs of giving up. This is the kind of fighting spirit we want in the team and I want them to maintain this attitude for the rest of the season,” Rahman said.

It was the lanky striker Salvester Sindeh who turned hero for the Rhinos on the night as he slotted home the winning goal in injury time after receiving a cross from fellow substitute Hishamuddin Othman.

“Although it was a hard-fought victory, the boys certainly deserved it,” he added.

However, Rahman said that it was not the best of starts for the team as they seemed to follow the rhythm of the home side.

“I think we were playing according to their (Shahzan Muda) rhythm in the first quarter of the game at least. But once we settled down, we were more solid and always looked like we were going to score goals.

“We had a few chances as their goalmouth, including hitting the goalpost at least once. They also had their chances, but overall I would say that we are the deserving winners.

“Although it was not the best game that we played, but I cannot fault any player because they gave their best.

“On another note, I’m also delighted to see that they are playing better as a team. If we can maintain this momentum, I’m very sure we will be up there (among the leaders) at the end of the season. So now it is important for us to maintain our winning form.”

After this win, Rahman said that they finally can say that they are on the right track in their quest for glory.

The three points earned from the match helped Sabah move one rung up from fifth to fourth with 20 points in their bag – seven behind league leaders Johor Pasir Gudang and second-placed Kuala Muda Naza.

They will remain in the position at least until Friday as Kelantan, who had no game on Monday will see action (on Friday) while Sabah will have a break.

Sabah will complete their first round fixtures up against Malaysia Under-19 side or Harimau Muda as they are known on Feb 22, likely to be held at the Likas Stadium.

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