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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

QPR parade two different sides in whitewash over Sabah

The Star
QPR’s Park Ji-sung (centre) trying to dribble past Sabah’s Baihaki Kaizan (right) and Nazrul Erwan during their exhibition match at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu last night. QPR won 5-0. — NORMIMIE DIUN / The Star
KOTA KINABALU: Queens Park Rangers fielded two different teams in each half but the outcome was the same as they thrashed a Sabah Selection 5-0 at the Likas Stadium last night. The only surprise was that after Bobby Zamora opened the scoring in the eighth minute, the 25,000 crowd had to wait until the second-half for the floodgates to open. 

QPR began the match with new signing Park Ji-sung captaining a young side and that could explain why the visitors could not find the net again in the first-half. In the second-half, coach Mark Hughes sent in his experienced troopers, with Djibril Cisse leading the attack and, had it not been for Sabah’s effective use of the offside trap, the Hoops could have easily doubled the score.

 Heidar Helguson made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute after latching onto a Cisse pass. Seven minutes later, Jay Bothroyd raced past two defenders to slot in the third goal before Cisse added a brace in the 73rd and 81st minutes. Hughes was delighted with his players’ performance in their first competitive match.

“It was very good for us and the objective of this exercise was to try out all the players as it is still very early days in our preparation,” he said. “I fielded a more experienced side in the second-half, so we had plenty of goals for the fans and I am sure they enjoyed the game just as much as our players enjoyed the match.

“Park was given captaincy tonight as a gesture to his many fans because we understand he is well-known here. ” 

THE TEAMS QPR First-half: Brian Murphy, Max Ehmer, Clint Hill, Anton Ferdinand, Michael Harriman, Michael Doughty, Park Ji-sung, Samba Diakite, Shaun Wright-Philipis, Bobby Zamora, Andy Johnson. 

Second-half: Radek Cerny, Fabio Da Silva, Nedum Onuoha, Matthew Connolly, Armand Traore, Jamie Mackie, Adel Taarabt, Hogan Ephraim, Jay Bothroyd, Djibril Cisse, Heidar Helguson. 

SABAH SELECTION: Irwan Jamil, Baihakki Khaiza, Robbie Gaspar, Pritam Singh, Octavianus Maniani,Tipus John, Nazrul Erwan, Ridi Arizal, Mafray Balang, Sabri Sahar, Bobby Gonzales.

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