Sabah Football Fan blog with news, schedule, result, statistic , records and more.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sabah held to a draw

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah President Cup squad were held to a 2-2 draw by Pahang at the Likas Stadium on Monday. The team with Didie Arizal back in the engine room pressured the visitors from the start and had a couple of chances to open the scoring but the Pahang defence and their goalkeeper were all up to the task to deny Sabah.

 And against the run of play, Pahang scored with their first attack of the game in the 7th minute when Sharul Aizad had a free run from the left before finishing with a groundeer at the left far post with Sabah's keeper Endre S Tipay stranded. Despite taking the early lead the visitors preferred to sit back and Sabah continued to mount several attacks and Zul Manshah Aling had a free kick from about 20 yard that hit the cross bar in the 18th minute.

 The striker who had not scored since February finally ended his goal drought in the 27th minute through a penalty after he was fouled inside the box. Umareng Bacok who started the match put the home team ahead in the 41st minute with a well placed chip from the side after a brilliant through ball from Didie.

 However, their joy was shortlived as within two minutes, Pahang drew level and this time captain Dendy Lowa made an uncharacteristic mistake on the left allowing Shafie Zahari to skip past and release a shot that beat Endre at the right post. Despite a tactical change by coach Justin Ganai with the introduction of strikers Rexjeson Pitrus and Eyo Mathewin in the second half, the team failed to created any real chances.

The only chance that fell to Zul Manshah was as usual way off the target late in the game. Instead it was the visitors who looked more dangerous and always looked threatening whenever they mounted an attack and the Sabah defence who had been very solid at the start of the season looked jaded and were at sea dealing with the high balls into the box.

 Justin when met after the game was disappointed with the team's performance and said he had tried all the strikers available and still there was problem to find the net. "Their failure to build on their superiority in the game and grab the chance to score had put immerse pressure on the defensive department." "And I must stress that the players, especially the back four played well below par today and it could be due to the long season as some had been playing for 18 matches to date."

 He added that he hopes to bring in some Under-19 players to beef up the squad once they have been registered. The team will next play an away match with Melaka on April 25. Meanwhile, the Sabah Football Association has confirmed the signing of former Kedah import Abdelfatah Aftha Safi to replace Welsh defender Rhys David Weston as their second foreign import in the Premier League team for the remainder of the season.

 It was the only change in the Sabah squad during the open window which ended on Monday. The 31-year-old is a French player of Moroccan origin and an attacking midfielder and he is likely to be featured in the team's home match against league leaders Sime Darby this Friday at the Likas Stadium.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...