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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

BJSS halt Juniors' run

New Sabah Times
THICK OF ACTION … Sabahawks Juniors Sabri Sahar (red) controls the ball during their President’s Cup Group A tie at the Likas Stadium yesterday.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabahawks Juniors’ winning run was put to a halt after being held to a two-all draw by the gritty Bukit Jalil Sports School in a President’s Cup Group A challenge at the Likas Stadium yesterday.

The State Under-21 squad went into the battle looking for their 11th consecutive win, but the visiting national Under-16 side had other ideas, as they forced the home side to share the spoils.

This was the first time that the Sabahawks Juniors dropped points at home having won their previous eight encounters.
Despite the result, their position at the top of the 13-team standings remains unshakeable.
They are leading the pack with 42 points from 13 wins and three draws.

Yesterday, the Johnny Dominicus-coached squad was twice leading only to see the visiting Bukit Jalil Sports School draw level on both occasions.
Super League-based striker Leopold Alfonso Otong drew first blood for his side by slotting home the opener from just outside the six-yard box in the 21st minute, but it was cancelled out by Akram’s long range effort at the half-hour mark.

A spectacular 30-metre strike by Maxsius Musa saw Sabahawks Juniors restore their lead six minutes later to eventually see the host going into the half-time break leading 2-1.

When the second half resumed, Sabahawks Juniors created numerous chances to extend their lead, but none found the net, and instead, it was Bukit Jalil Sports School that drew level.

With only 15 minutes remaining on the clock, they launched a quick counter attack with the speedy Fareez Hafdzi outrunning a Sabah defender on the left before he centred for the unmarked Akram, who then easily slotted home the equaliser past the hapless Sabahawks custodian Robson Rendy.

When met shortly after the match, team manager Juil Nuatim said that he had to be satisfied with the outcome of the game, adding that it was a closely fought encounter.

“We knew from the start that this was going to be a tough match. We knew their strength and we were a little bit unfortunate because they (BJSS) played really well today.
“They are so compact and it made it difficult for us because they defended in numbers and were quick on the counter attack,” said Juil.

In their first meeting, they also ended in a draw, one-all.
Head coach Johnny Dominicus is also echoing his manager’s view, saying that he too was satisfied with the result.

“We played well, and I find no fault in the part of our players because they tried their best. But as you can see, we were playing a side that has been together for almost three or four years,” said Johnny.
Sabahawks Juniors take on Kedah in their next tie away.

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