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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Sabah tame Melaka

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah continued their good start to the season after trouncing Melaka 4-1 in a President’s Cup Group A challenge at the Tun Fatimah Stadium in Melaka yesterday. This was their second consecutive win following their 2-1 victory over Johor in the opener at the Likas Stadium last Thursday.

 Team manager Juil Nuatim when contacted yesterday was delighted to see his side tame their opponents, who fought their hearts out until the final whistle. “I’m happy not only because we won the tie, but most importantly, overall they have shown improvement in their game. “We were more focused and compact, and could have scored more goals based on the chances we created, but anyway I’m satisfied with what we got,” said Juil.

 “Congratulations to the players as well as the coaching staff for a job well done,” he added. Juil said this was just the right tonic for the team ahead of the clash against Bukit Jalil Sports School on Thursday, which he describes, will be their first real test of the season.

 “Fortunately for us, all our players are still in good condition for the next assignment, including Sabri (Sahar),” said Juil referring to the teenager, who is actually part of the senior squad but was released to beef up the State Under-21 team. “Prior to the game, I had said that I would be glad if we could steal two points away from the six in these two consecutive away ties, but now we have already got three, which is good. 

“With this win, we will be going into the game spirited, and hopefully, we get something out of it,” he said of their date with Bukit Jalil Sports School. Striker Zulmansyah Aling, who featured less than a minute in the victory over Johor after nursing an injury, turned hero for the State squad after netting a brace with Eyo Matthew and Maxsius Musa netting the other two goals.

 Zulmansyah scored the opener in the 36th minute that eventually saw his side go into the half time break leading 1-0. After the break, Eyo extended Sabah’s lead with his 54th minute effort before Zulmansyah scored his second at the hour mark. A minute later, Maxsius scored Sabah’s fourth to eventually see them taking a comfortable lead before Melaka scored the consolation 10 minutes from time.

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