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

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Draw gives Sabahawks brief respite

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: The draw against Police on Friday has given David McCreery’s side a brief respite after finally ending their four-match losing run. The remarkable fightback will also be the right tonic for McCreery and his men to put their challenge back on the right track. Every point will now count for the State squad after a poor start to their season, and despite the result, they now see themselves sitting just above the relegation zone, and a mere two and three points ahead of NS Betaria and UiTM FC respectively, who occupy the two relegation slots.

 But that aside, this was surely one hell of an effort from the players to come back from three goals down in the opening 45 minutes before drawing level with only seconds remaining on the clock. McCreery has every right to hail his charges for their superb second-half effort. He described their fightback as the best 45 minutes he had seen from his charges this season.

 “It was a poor, poor first half. They got one of the goals after a mistake by the goalie, and then there was the own goal. “At 3-0, it could have gone on to become four, five or six for them (Police) but credit to the boys … they fought hard in the second half to get a draw,” he said.

 “It was the best 45 minutes from the team since I’ve been here. I thought it was a good point considering that we were three goals down at half time. In the game, Mohd Fauzi Daud and Mohd Khairul Akhyar had given Police a 2-0 lead in the 16th and 31st minutes respectively before Shahril Faizal’s own goal saw them go three-up six minutes later.

 But Malian striker Koh Traore came off the bench to erase their first-half nightmare, going on to register his first hat-trick since signing for the team early this season. Traore replaced Jufrey Omopor in the 35th minute, but it was only in the second half that Traore made the difference. He scored twice in the space of three minutes, netting the first in the 66th while the second came in the 68th minute, before completing his hat-trick from the spot on the death. On Traore’s performance, McCreery said: “Traore was playing with a bad ankle and that’s the reason why he did not start the game.

But, when he came on, he made all the difference. “That’s why we have him here … to score goals,” said McCreery before revealing “at the dressing room (during the half-time break), I told them to hold their heads up and not to be discouraged by the scoreline.” “They needed to go out there and get a response and I’m glad they did it … they performed what we’ve expected of them.

This showed that with the right attitude this team can produce the result,” he said. McCreery said he was happy to see that they finally stopped the rot. He also reserved his praise for two President Cuppers Dendy Iowa and Didie Arizal, who were among five changes that he made to the squad.

 Also in was Shahril Sa’ari who returned to man the posts in place of Syamsuri Mustapha as well as defender Shahril and striker Jufrey. “The two youngsters did exceptionally well. Didie played the whole game while I took Dendy off (for Zainizam Marjan) not because he had a bad game, it was a strategy change. Like all of the Sabahawks’ fans, McCreery hopes that this result could help inject confidence and belief into the team.

 He said he is seeking the same kind of determination, and spirit, and not just for the one half, but the whole of the 90 minutes. He also warned the players not to get carried away with what they have done against Police. “The situation we are in, there is no reason for anyone of us to rest on our laurels,” he said. With the point gained, Sabah accumulated a mere seven from eight fixtures from two wins, one draw and five defeats, and are in 10th in the 12-team standings. They face Johor, who is currently third, at home on March 1.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...