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Friday, March 16, 2012

Perfect home record

New Sabah Times
RECORD FEAT … Sabahawks Junior’s Zackkalani Antanom (No: 23) tries to dribble the ball past an unidentified T-Team player as Eyo Matthew (right) looks on during their battle at the Likas Stadium yesterday.
KOTA KINABALU: High flying Sabahawks Juniors kept their perfect home record intact after registering a resounding 3-0 victory over Terengganu’s T-Team in a President’s Cup Group A challenge at the Likas Stadium yesterday.

It was their sixth home win of the season, and interestingly, they have not conceded a single goal in their last four outings, including one away.
The top of the table clash lived up to its billing, as the host put up their best ever show with a fine display.
They were leading 2-0 at half time before netting the third after the break.

Striker Eyo Matthew scored a brace by slotting home the opener after 20 minutes of play before adding the second seven minutes later. Then 10 minutes from regulation time, midfielder Maxsius Musa scored the third.
In fact it could have been more goals, but the visiting T-Team had their keeper Syafiq Ramli to thank for, for some brilliant saves, otherwise it could have been a whitewash, as the host showed what they are made of.

The opener started off from a brilliant move from midfielder Maxsius who sent a perfect looping ball towards the T-Team goalmouth. And the ever alert Eyo overcome a T-Team defender before he easily flicked the ball past the hapless Syafiq.

Then not long after, he poked home the second finishing off an earlier attempt by Umareng Bacok.
After an exciting first half, Sabah scored the third 10 minutes from time when Maxsius won a 50-50 ball battle with Syafiq before slotting home a grounder that eventually sealed their victory.
Earlier on, Sabah created numerous chances where they twice saw their attempts cleared off the line.

“I’m very happy with the win. They showed great fighting spirit, and as you can see, they fought for every ball. I thought this was a well deserved victory,” commented Sabah team manager Juil Nuatim when met shortly after the match.

“On behalf of the team, I would also like to say a big thank you to the fans because I believe that their presence helped instill greater efforts among our players.
“It was a tough game. T-Team was good … they are well organised, but our players did very well and managed to win it comfortably.

While congratulating his charges for a job well done, Juil also praised his coaching staff for doing a good job.
“Our coaching staff, Johnny Dominicus, Burhan Ajui, Awal Taham and Matasan Ahmad have been doing a very good job. I guess they form a good combination, especially Johnny, who I believe has done very well in leading the team. My hope is for this trend to continue.
To a question, Juil said another plus factor, was that the team managed to end their first round home campaign with a perfect record.

“I guess this a record feat. I think this was the first time that our President’s Cup squad won all their home matches (first round). If I can remember, in the past we have never done this,” he said.
Meanwhile, Johnny also concurred with his manager that this was a great win.
“I would say that this was our best show thus far at home. I think even the fans agreed with me. We looked very organised … our passing has improved from game to game. I think, we are getting better,” said Johnny.
Sabahawks Juniors would conclude their first round challenge by taking on lowly Police away on Monday.
The victory also strengthened their grip at the top of the 13-team standings on 29 points from nine wins and two draws.

Elsewhere, Kedah defeated Tengku Mahkota Sports School 2-1, while Bukit Jalil Sports School trounced Penang SDM 4-0. Melaka held Kelantan to a two-all draw while Johor defeated Police 4-0.
In another match, Johor Melodi Jaya edged Johor MBJB 1-0.

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