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Monday, March 18, 2013

Sabah end goal drought but still no victory

sports247.my

MOHD ALFIAN JAMIL ended Sabah’s four-match goal drought but still it was not enough to earn them a President’s Cup victory today. Penang, instead, staved off a late onslaught to clinch a 1-1 draw at the Likas Stadium. Striker Mohamad Amer gave Penang the lead with a fine header on the half-hour mark but it was cancelled out by another headed goal from Alfian five minutes later.

 Team manager Datuk Juil Nuatim was a relieved man as Sabah finally broke the duck but rued the missed chances late on. After Sabah goalkeeper Robson Rendy had made a smart stop to deny Mohd Amirul Hafizi at point-blank range in the 84th minute, Sabah had five chances to win the game in the closing stages. Second half substitute Fread Filemon saw his shot tipped over by Penang goalkeeper Muhamad Danial before Amirul made a crucial block on the line to deny the flanker.

 It was striker Eyo Matthew’s turn to try his luck – he did beat both Danial and the defenders but not the goalpost with a knee-high shot. Team captain Dendy Lowa’s curling shot shortly after was destined for the back of the net but a Penang defender cleared on the line. Sabah had another chance with seconds left but Danial produced a brave stop to thwart Eyo in a one-on-one.

 “On any given day, we could have converted the chances we had late in the game. “It was a draw but I have no complaint about the players’ effort … luck was not on our side,” said Juil. Sabah will next face Perlis in Kangar on March 25.

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