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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Tough tie awaits Cebagoo FC

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Cebagoo FC will take on Melaka with a depleted squad at the Hang Tuah Stadium at 4.45pm today. They will not have at least three key players, including skipper Md Reithuddin Awg Emran, Billyton Vun Ket Ming and Rainol Masaat. Reithuddin and Billyton, whom are both former State players, have not been part of the team in their last three matches.

 The New Sabah Times Sports reliably learnt that the duo is believed to have opted out due to some misunderstanding within the team. As for striker Rainol, he could not make the trip due to a swollen ankle. Md Arifyanshah Jafar, who has been the team’s livewire in the middle of the park, is also a doubtful starter.

 However, the Tawau-born player, who has had a stint with Johor FC, was part of the travelling squad to the historical State. Head coach Razali Zinin when contacted said he was left with no other choice but to do with who is left in the squad, before admitting that it is going to be a tough tie on the road for his boys. “This is going to be a different ball game altogether.

 They have settled down quite well since we beat them in the first round while we are still trying to find our rhythm,” said Razali, referring to their season opener victory on February 17. Then, goals from Mohd Reithuddin Emran and Mohd Nizam Jefferi gave Cebagoo a 2-0 win. “We certainly need to put in the extra effort to get the three points, if not a draw would also still be fine with me.

One point from an away game is not too bad but the main aim is still to get all three points,” Razali said. “Those missing will certainly be missed. Rainol has a swollen ankle and has been left out, but Rempit (Arifyanshah) did travel with the rest of the squad,” added Razali. “As for Rempit, we will wait until the last minute before deciding on him. He is also suffering a knee injury.

 Razali is expected to retain Sharul Boidi as the team’s No 1 ball stopper, while his four-man backline would comprise Ahmad Thaufiq Haq, Mohd Nazrein Sani, Adnan Arman and Mohd Shapawi. Mohd Nizam, Zain Ambarong, Gerd Smith, Mohd Nazmeer Stuh and Hafiz Aldin will start in midfield, while new recruit Mohd Nor Azuan Shah will be on his own up-front as Razali opts for a 4-5-1 formation.

 For the record, after 11 matches, Cebagoo are seventh in the 11-team standings on 12 points from three wins, three draws and five defeats. Melaka are sixth on 14 points from four wins, two draws and five losses.

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