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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jufrey the hero as Sabah halt slide

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: Jufrey Omopor was the hero for Sabah as he scored the only goal of the game to help the home team beat Kedah in the Super League clash at the Likas Stadium on Tuesday. It was his first goal of the season and it came at the right time as Sabah finally came good after five games without a single point.

 Jufrey smashed home the winner in the 31st minute off a cross from Shahrudin Yakup from the right. Credit must also be given to captain Hendrik Helmke who started the move deep into in his own half before passing the ball to Zainizam Marjan who in turn delivered a decisive pass to Shahrudin.

 Jufrey could have scored a brace but his header from a K. Thanaraj cross in the 65th minute just missed the crossbar by inches. In the dying minutes of the game, Sabah had a golden opportunity to increase their lead through Zainizam, who is usually very cool in front of goal, after he missed a sitter when he hit the post from a yard out following a clever flick from Jufrey across the goalmouth.

 It was a wonderful display of team spirit that won the match for Sabah. The defence marshalled by Reithudin Ag Emran was excellent. It was a no-nonsense play that paved the way for the strikers to have the chances to trouble the Kedah defence. Razid Gafar again showed his maturity at the right back position and on many occasions he managed to thwart the Kedah moves with his timely tackles.

 Rosidin Wasli also managed to clear a loose ball in the box when Azizon was beaten in the 68th minute. Zulmanshah again showed what a big hearted player he was as he played his guts out throughout the 90 minutes despite suffering from cramps on several occasions.

 Both teams started the match cautiously in the first half. Kedah opted for long balls and there were not many shooting opportunities for both teams. Juprey Omopor had the real chance in the 19th minute when he burst through into the box but shot wide under pressure from the Kedah defenders.

 The hard earned win should give the players the much needed boost ahead of their next game against bottom of the table Kuala Lumpur this Saturday where it will be played here at the Likas Stadium. And hopefully, the crowd will be back again to support the team after the win on Tuesday night.

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