Sabah Football Fan blog with news, schedule, result, statistic , records and more.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pole up for grabs

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: High flying Sabahawks Juniors need a simple win to emerge group winners when they take on Terengganu’s T-Team on the road in their final preliminary round fixture in the President’s Cup challenge. Currently second in the Group A standings, Sabahawks Juniors are two points behind new leaders KL Sime Darby, who have already completed their fixtures.

 The club side top the group on 54 points, followed by Sabahawks on 52. Third placed Kedah are on 51. Initially, Sabahawks topped the group, but the FA of Malaysia’s latest ruling saw them drop to second after the governing body’s competition committee decided to expel Penang SDM from the league for their failure to turn up for their clash against Sabahawks Juniors last Thursday.

 The FAM also ruled that all points involving Penang SDM would not be counted. “Our hope of winning the group is still in our own hands. However, we know this is not an easy trip for the boys. However, we are fortunate that T-Team are no longer in the race for a place in the top four,” said Juil Nuatim.

 “They will go down to the battlefield merely to complete their fixtures,” the Sabahawks Juniors team manager added. For the record, the qualifiers for the next stage from the group were decided last week. The qualifiers are Sabahawks Juniors, KL Sime Darby, Kedah and Tengku Mahkota Sports School. “The team have done well this whole season and I hope they will keep on doing a good job. It we can win the group it will be an additional morale booster for the knockout stage,” Juil said.
In their previous encounter against the same opponents, Sabahawks Juniors emerged winners with a 2-1 home victory earlier in March. A result other than victory will force Juil’s team to settle for second best, or even third, if Kedah win their game against Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI).

 “We have to win our match to ensure we emerge champions. If we draw this match and Kedah win theirs, we will finish second,” said Juil. A top-spot finish is crucial to ensure better chances for Sabah to make it to the semi-finals. “If we finish as champions we will likely meet a less formidable opponent in our quarter-final match on Monday,” added Juil.

 Sabahawks Juniors have had a wonderful season after registering a near-perfect record of 18 wins, four draws and one defeat. Sabahawks Juniors also performed well last season, but a lapse in concentration forced them to settle for third place at the end of the Group B challenge.

 And Juil wants no repeat of last season as he wants the team to finish top. They marched into the quarter-finals with their heads held high, but were shown the exit after losing to Johor MP Muar. Meanwhile, when contacted in Kuala Lumpur, head coach, Johnny Dominicus, en route to Terengganu said the team’s best players will be available for the fight.

 Among them are Leopold Alphonso Otong and Sabri Sahar. He said the match is also likely to see Endre S. Tipay claiming his rightful place as top-choice custodian after recently recovering from injury. According to Johnny other players likely to make the line-up are central defenders, Didie Arizal Ibrahim and Dendy Lowa, and left and right backs, Denisi Mekkhdan and Razid Gapar. Muhamad Mohd Safar and Sabri are set to start in the middle of the park, while Umareng Bacok on the right and fit-again Maxsius Musa on the left with Leopold and Zackkalani Antanom spearheading the attack.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...