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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Back-to-back win

New Sabah Times
FIRST BLOOD … Eyo Matthew, (left), who scored the opener for the Sabahawks Juniors, in control of the ball during their President’s Cup tie against Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School of Johor yesterday.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabahawks Juniors seemed to have finally found their winning momentum after edging Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School of Johor (SSTMI) 2-1 at the Likas Stadium yesterday. This is their first back-to-back victory of the season. Prior to the home clash, they registered a narrow win over Armed Forces away last week, which was their first win in eight matches.

 Head coach Justin Ganai when met after the match was delighted to see his charges deliver another three points. “When you look at our previous games, there was not much difference to this because basically we have been using the same players. The only problem then, was we were unable to score the goals. “Today (yesterday) we managed to score.

I’m a little bit disappointed because it could have been more, but we only managed to score two. We should have not wasted the chances because this is a league, and at the end of the day, our position in the standings could be decided through goal average,” said Justin. “We hope to continue with this winning run. We face Sarawak next away before taking on Pahang at home.

 Winning these two matches will be good tonic for us to face the second round,” he added. Striker Eyo Matthew scored the opener for Sabahawks Juniors in the 14th minute before limping out late in the first half. After a dull opening 45 minutes, the match became livelier in the second half with Sabahawks Juniors making it 2-0 at the hour mark when second-half substitute Umareng Bacok headed home from close range after receiving a cross from Sabri Sahar.

 Sabahawks Juniors could have been 3-0 up in the 70th minute, but Zul Mansshah Aling, who came in for Eyo, squandered the golden opportunity. Striking partner, Rexjeson Pitirus did brilliantly, overcoming several SSTMI players before sending a superb cross from the side of the goalpost. The ball found the unmarked Zul Mansshah, who managed to connect the ball from about six yards out, but only to see it hit the goalpost.

 Then SSTMI struck their consolation through second-half substitute Aizat, who headed home from close range, defeating the hapless Sabahawks Juniors custodian Endre S Tipay for the first time. In injury time, Zul Mansshah squandered another opportunity of putting his name on the scoresheet when he blasted the ball wide from inside the box.

 With this victory, Sabahawks Juniors have 22 points in their bag from five wins, seven draws and three defeats. If results involving Penang and Kedah favour them they could move up from 10th to eighth in the 18-team standings.

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