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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

10-man Juniors prevail

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: Ten-man Sabahawks Juniors maintained their unbeaten run on the road after edging Police 1-0 in a President’s Cup challenge at the Pulapol main field at Jalan Semarak in the national capital yesterday. This was their second win from three away encounters this season. They also nicked victory with an identical scoreline against Kelantan in their first trip before holding Kedah to a two-all draw.

 “It was a tough game. The condition of the field, which was muddy and slippery due to rain, just made it difficult for both sides, but I’m happy for the boys, especially with their never-say-die attitude. They kept on pushing until the very last minute in search of goals. “I thought it was a draw because it was only seconds remaining when we scored the winner,” said team manager Datuk Juil Nuatim when contacted yesterday. 

Flanker Gerald S. Mojikon scored the last-gasp winner for the visitors after being put through by Awangku Mohd Hamizan. He easily slotted home a grounder with his first touch that left the Police custodian hapless. According to Juil, they were forced to play with one man lesser after Benerlys Raim was given the marching orders in the 28th minute of the first half.

 Despite being handicapped, Juil said his side still managed to dictate play, and was unfortunate not to find the net earlier on. “We managed to create numerous chances, but none of them found the net, but so did Police,” said Juil. With 10 minutes remaining on the clock, Juil said their opponents were also forced to play with 10 men after one of their players was also flashed the red card by the match official.

 “Overall, I’m happy not only with the result, but also the way the players took the game, especially after we were reduced to 10 men. They kept on fighting, and I hope this attitude will continue for the rest of the season,” said Juil. This was the team’s first back-to-back win. Previous to this clash, they edged Kuala Lumpur 2-1 at home last Thursday, which was their only home win thus far after being held to a one-all draw by Melaka in the opener before being blanked by Perak 0-2 in their second home game.

 With the three points gained yesterday, Sabahawks Juniors have 11 points in their bag after six games, and it should move them up in the standings. Prior to the clash, they were in eighth on eight points. They next take on Bukit Jalil Sports School at the Likas Stadium on February 28.

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