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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nothing less than victory will do today!

KOTA KINABALU: The junior Rhinos will settle for nothing less than victory when they take on UPB-MyTEAM of Perak in a President’s Cup challenge at the Likas Stadium today.

They are determined to make a quick rebound following their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Johor FC in the opener at the Jcorp Stadium in Pasir Gudang three days ago.

And the inclusion of two Premier League-based players – Leopold Alphonso Otong and Selyvister Saini would surely give the team a lift or rather a boost for this home tie that is scheduled to kick off at 4.15pm.

Both Leopold and Selyvister featured for the senior team, but the Premier League is currently taking a break and would only resume on January 31 with the first round of the FA Cup where Sabah will be playing away to Kuala Lumpur in the first leg. The return leg is on February 3.

Teenager Leopold, who turns 18 on June 9, made his maiden debut for the senior squad with a goal in the 2-0 victory over SDM Kepala Batas of Penang at the Likas Stadium about 10 days ago.

He also had a good game after coming in for Selyvister in the second half against Proton FC on Monday.

Junior Rhinos’ head coach Rozlee Idris believes the presence of the duo would surely strengthen the team.

When met at their light training at the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex Field B in Likas yesterday, he went on to say that they are going all out for victory.

“We have no reason not to do well playing at our home venue,” said Rozlee.

Furthermore, he added, they could not afford to slip any points away from any home game if they are to realise their target of lifting the crown.

“Even though it is still early days, but we must try to win all our home matches starting from tomorrow (today).

“Unless we are having injury or suspension to our key players, I don’t see any reason for us not to play well at home and win the game.

“If it is an away game, I can understand because away games have always been pretty unpredictable. “There are several circumstances such as jetlag and tiredness due to long travelling hours that could affect our performances,” he added.

Rozlee also hinted that he is likely to stick to the same line-up against Johor FC with the exception that Mohd Siraj Munir will make way for Selyvister in the attack while Leopold will replace Mohamad RD Osman on the right of midfield.

Selyvister will be pairing McBarry Jaz Matin in the attack while skipper Calaste Aping and Delson John would orchestrate the midfield department with Ibrahim Abu Nawas on the left of midfield.

Rozlee’s four-man defence comprises, Fandi Linik, Shafie Jaim, Mohd Hanafie Unus and Nelbandly @ Mohd Nor. Ovinnis Ozawa Joachim is his first choice keeper.

Mohamad RD Osman, Mohd Siraj Munir, Zenelter Dangu, Faddley Lunsing, Mohd Ahzuan Khan, Tarajan Amil and goalkeeper Jaidi Umbong will be on the bench.

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