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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pahang Kuantan FA edge Sabah Cebagoo FC 1-0

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: Pahang Kuantan FA edged Sabah Cebagoo FC 1-0 in their FAM Cup match at the Likas Stadium on Wednesday. A well taken free kick by Hazwan Falhrullah in the 22nd minute just outside the edge of the box beat Sabah custodian Sharul Boidi and hit the crossbar before crossing the line. The match which was played under scorching heat saw both teams struggling to find their footing at the start.

 However, it was the visitors who seemed more adapted to the hot sun as the match wore on while the home team was unable to mount any serious attack with the midfield department totally malfunctioning forcing the backline into all sorts of problems throughout the 90 minutes. It was only towards the end of the second period that Sabah Cebagoo FC began to show some bite and finally managed to get the ball upfield.

 They were given many chances to draw level in the final 15 minutes or so but wasted each opportunity with wayward shooting in a dead ball situation including one that resulted from a Kuantan FA player receiving a red card after bringing down Rainol Masaat in the 82nd minute. They were also unlucky on a couple of occasions when the Kuantan FA defenders managed to be at the right place to thwart away Sabah Cebagoo FC's goal-bound shots.

 A dejected coach Razali Zinin did not hide his disappointment after the match and reckoned the team had a bad day. "The players today just failed to produce what they were capable of on the pitch. I wanted my players to play with confidence and what they showed today was the complete opposite and it made the opposition looked extremely good."

 He singled out playmaker Nizam Jifferi who was completely off colour as the main reason for the team to collapse early in the game. "It was just very unfortunate that Nizam who is usually very reliable failed to perform at the heart of the midfield and I can see that he tried his best to rectify his mistakes but it just wasn't his day and I believe his loss of confidence also caused other players to have doubts themselves."

 "What we need to do now is to put the disappointment behind us and bounce back immediately and try to get back to winning ways in the coming matches." The team will next play Melayu Kedah away on March 3.

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