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Monday, March 05, 2012

Spirited display

New Sabah Times
ROZAIMI … volleyed the equaliser for Sabah. He will join Ong Kim Swee’s Harimau Muda on Wednesday for the Olympics qualifying match against Syria on March 14.
KOTA KINABALU: Justin Ganai saluted his charges’ fighting spirit in their comeback-from-behind victory over Johor FC in a Super League challenge at the Likas Stadium on Saturday.

He said they did well and fought their hearts out until the end in nicking the slim 2-1 win. The Sabah head coach said that it was a tough game, and that it could have gone either way.

But this time, the coach admits that lady luck played a little role in helping them register their third win after nine matches into the season.
And Justin was right, as the visiting Johor FC, besides the Arthuro Henrique 28th minute opener, they hit the crossbar twice, with Sabah custodian Syed Adney Syed Hussien well beaten in both occasions.

Should both chances found the back of the net; the outcome could have been against the host. In another occasion, Sabah was fortunate not to have their skipper Md Reithuddin Ag Emran dismissed.
In the 36th minute incident, the lanky defender, who had already received a booking earlier on, could have received his second yellow when he tackled Ahmad Fauzi Saari just outside the D-box.

Fortunately for Sabah, the match official only gave a free-kick to Johor FC and that effort by Arthuro hit the crossbar.
Earlier in the 21st minute, Arthuro could have put his side ahead but his 30-metre thunderbolt hit the crossbar with the Sabah shot-stopper Adney already beaten. But he was not to be denied a goal as not long after this he netted the opener with an easy close range header in the 28th minute.

This awoke Sabah and it took just two minutes for them to even the game. The evergreen Zainizam Marjan picked out Md Rozaimi Abd Rahman with a delightful chip. The ball sailed over Leopold Alfonso Otong’s head before it found Rozaimi who volleyed past the hapless Mohd Anis Faron at his near post.
Shahrudin Yakup scored the winning goal when Rozaimi’s shot had hit his leg to divert the ball into the net with 10 minutes left on the clock.
The hard-fought 2-1 win saw Sabah move four rungs up to eight in the 14-team Super League standings which eventually gave Justin a sigh of relief … though a temporary one.
With the victory, Sabah notched 13 points from three wins, four draws and two defeats.

“I must congratulate the players for their spirited display in getting the win. Although we fell behind, they soldiered on and fought their hearts out and achieved the three points.
“We really needed it (win) because a draw could have put us in a tough position to chase the teams ahead of us,” said Justin when met shortly after the match.

“The victory is a relief … we are very happy,” he added.
When pressed further, Justin was also delighted with his hero of the night, Shahrudin.
“Shahrudin is a proven goal-scoring winger. He has done that previously and that is why I sent him for the second half…he was our saviour. In fact, I thought of giving him a start but he only returned from national duty and only took part in one training session.

“Furthermore, it would not be fair to Shahrul (Azhar Ture) who has been impressive…that is why I started with Shahrul (on the right flank),” Justin said.
“As for Rozaimi, he is progressing well and he has grown in confidence after his foray into the national squad for the Olympic qualifier.

“He has improved and is more matured now … he can perform in whatever (attacking) position that he is asked to fill in.

Sabah will be taking a two-week break, as they are no longer involved in the FA Cup challenge, which will be played this week.
Sabah will only resume their Super League challenge in a tough away tie to Terengganu on March 17.

1 comment:

  1. Yes Justin must congratulate the players, because of them he looks good. Without a talented team Justin is nothing. Any coach can do that. Sabah FA thinks Justin is good and ask him to replace Gary Philips because the junior team is doing great last year..Well guess what..the junior team this year also doing great under Johnny Dominicus. This prove we have many talented footballers in the state. Does that mean Johnny Dominicus can replace Justin and coach the senior team as well? Of course he can, Justin fail the blend the team, from the import to the loca. He is very lucky that Sabah has talented players like Rozaime, Shaharuddin, Leopold and not to forget Zainizam. If we have a good coach we will be better away from home. Justin, you think because of your coaching Sabah is in thier position now? come on don't be a joke, they are there because they are good and you are damn lucky.

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