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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Goal drought continues

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabahawks Juniors’ goal drought continues as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Johor in a President’s Cup tie at the Likas Stadium yesterday. This was their third consecutive match where they have failed to score goals. They also ended their previous outing with the same scoreline.

 But on a positive note, the Justin Ganai boys did manage to extend their unbeaten run to six in a row, where they won twice with the other four ending in draws, in their last six outings. “We seem to have found it hard to score goals lately, including today (yesterday). We have not been able to score goals in 270 minutes of action, and we must try our best to stop this drought,” said Justin when met after the match.

 “Our midfielders need to work harder, and try to create more goal-scoring chances for our strikers in our upcoming games. “We are not blaming any of the players, but we have to admit that we have to do a lot more in improving our finishing,” he added. Justin also admitted that his strikers and midfielders need to gel together quickly in order to solve their scoring woes.

 “The gap between our strikers and the midfielders is too obvious. As you can see today, the gap between them was too big. They are supposed to be more compact, and we must improve on this,” said Justin. Meanwhile, team manager Datuk Juil Nuatim, who was also at the match, said that the team needs to continue working hard, not only in trying to improve their scoring, but also in other aspects of their game. “They must continue to work hard in training as well as during matches.

 If they want to achieve success in football, they must not stop learning. “And I believe that as long as they are willing to work hard and try to improve and learn every day, I’m confident the team will get stronger. “The season is still a long way to go, and it is important to improve all aspects of our game, and not only just finishing. Our fitness level, combination and team play must also be improved,” said Juil.

 Yesterday, the Sabahawks Juniors could count themselves lucky to settle for a draw as they put up a below par performance, and hardly created any scoring chances apart from the attempt by Benerlys Raim, whose header from a corner went straight into the Johor keeper’s arms.

Then Sabri Sahar saw his long range effort hit the crossbar while second-half substitute Mohd Alfian Jamil blasted the ball wide from close range, while Johor squandered two golden opportunities to take all the three points. First, Mohd Hazim, who only had the Sabahawks Juniors’ keeper to beat, saw his attempt from six yards out, go wide while Shafiq Shahrudin also squandered his opportunity. With only the keeper to beat, he unleashed a shot that went off target. The Sabahawks Juniors take on Terengganu away in their next tie.

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