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Friday, February 22, 2013

Traore rescues Sabah
SABAH SAVIOUR: Koh Traore’s hattrick helped Sabah draw 3-3 with Police.
SABAH fought back from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Premier League rivals Police at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Malacca today. Striker Koh Traore was the hero for Sabah as he came off the bench to claim a hattrick, including a penalty in the dying minutes of the match.

 The Cops thought they had the points in the bag when they went three-up in the first half, with Mohd Fauzi Majid giving them the lead in the 16th minute. It was 2-0 after 31 minute when Mohd Khairul Akhyar beat goalkeeper Shahril Sa’ari, who was one of the five changes made to the side by head coach David McCreery for the tie.

 Traore was sent on for fellow striker Jufrey Omopor in the 35th minute. Sabah defender Shahril Faizal scored an own goal just two minutes later when his attempted clearance sailed past his own goalkeeper to give the hosts a healthy 3-0 lead going into the breather. However, Sabah returned a different side after the halftime break with veteran striker Zainizam Marjan coming in for President Cupper Dendy Iowa.

 McCreery then called a third striker in Leopold Alfonso in the 62nd minute in place of Khairul Izwan Khalid. The move to have three recognised strikers paid off when Traore scored in quick succession in the 66th and 68th minutes to hand Sabah a lifeline. Traore then completed his hattrick by converting the spot kick to end a dismal run of four defeats.

 “Koh has a bad ankle but when he came on and changed everything. That’s why we have him here,” said McCreery. “I think it was the best 45 minutes Sabah have played this in the season. It’s all about attitude and today they showed it. “It was a good point especially after coming back from 3-0 down,” he added. Sabah have seven points from eight matches and will next face Johor at the Likas Stadium on March 1.

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