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Sunday, February 03, 2013

Tricky tie against Kelantan for Junior Sabahawks

 MALAYSIA Games champions Sabah will face Kelantan in a tricky President’s Cup tie at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium tomorrow. The Junior Sabahawks did not have the best of starts to the junior league on Thursday when they needed a late Didie Arizal equaliser to force a 1-1 draw at home to Malacca.

 Despite the less than convincing start, head coach Justin Ganai revealed he would keep faith with the same set of players to take on Kelantan. “They are the strongest (starting) line-up that we have at the moment … I may not change the team. “We will go there to try and win the game … that is the target.

Even if we do not win, (at least) we need to avoid defeat,” he said yesterday. That said, Justin hoped the experience of some of the “seniors” in the squad, especially those who played starring roles leading to the Malaysia Games gold last year, would give the team the edge over their hosts.

 Goalkeeper Endre S. Tipay as well as Didie, Dendy Lowa, Sabri Sahar, Umareng Bachok, Zulmansyah Aling and his replacement in the Malacca game Eyo Matthew are among the experienced players in the squad. The likes of Shazree Ruhif Ismail, Jenius Karib, Anwari Tajuddin, Rawilson Batiul and Rexjeson Pitirus, who made his senior team debut as a second half substitute in the 2-1 FA Cup win over Felda United, also started in the game against Malacca.

 Sabah’s only President’s Cup title came in 1999 while they were knocked out in the quarterfinals in the past two seasons.

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