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Friday, May 03, 2013

Lucky Sabah salvage draw

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: Lucky Sabah salvaged a point against Kelantan in their President Cup match held at the Likas Stadium on Thursday. A poor Sabah side which struggled to score throughout the match finally found the net to force a draw from a corner kick with seconds to spare.

 Right back Sahzree Ruhip Ismail was the hero when his header from a corner taken by Sabri Sahar crossed the line to cancel out the goal scored by the visitors in the 77th minute but the referee instead awarded it as an own goal by one of the Kelantan players. As usual the home side started brightly and had the Kelantan players pinned in the own half for the first 10 minutes or so.

 And once the Kelantan players had found their rhythm, the local players were over stretched trying to clamp down on the smooth passing game of their opponents. Sabah were lucky to escape in the 30th minute when a long ball evaded the Sabah defence and with keeper Robson Rendy Rening way off his line, one of the Kelantan player's shot completely missed the open goal.

 The silenced home crowd were given a lift towards the end of the first period when Sabah somehow found their feet again with Zul Manshah Aling and Umareng Bacok both managing to unleash shots that were well saved by the Kelantan keeper. The second half was more evenly matched in terms of possession but Kelantan looked more dangerous when they had the ball while Sabah only depended on Sabri Sahar to mount their attacks.

 With the players unable to run into position, Sabri only opted for long balls forward which was easily dealt with by the Kelantan players. And with the team struggled to break down the Kelantan defence, their own defence were completely torn apart in the 77th minute with a harmless long ball from midfield that saw Iskandar Ismail smash in from close range.

 With time running out it was left to the hard working Rexjeson Pitrus who forced a quick succession of corners within minutes during injury time that resulted in the face saving goal for Sabah. It was the 10th draw of the season for Sabah and they have collected 28 points from 20 matches with six wins and four losses.

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