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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Juniors’ quest for last-eight berth takes a knock

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: Sabahawks Juniors’ quest of making the President’s Cup quarter-finals took a knock after merely managing to salvage a one-all draw against Johor at the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council Stadium yesterday. The State Under-21 squad was heading for all the three points until the high-riding southern State side scored the equaliser from the spot three minutes from regulation time. 

Defender-turned-midfielder Benerlys Raim nodded home for the Sabahawks Juniors from an ensuing corner in the first half. “We were leading after 12 minutes of play through Benerlys. We managed to hold on to our slender lead for a long period. “But they (Johor) got a lucky break when they were awarded a penalty kick, which I thought was unnecessary,” said team manager Datuk Juil Nuatim when contacted yesterday.

 For the record, in the first round, both teams also ended their tie in a draw (0-0). This was the Sabahawks Juniors’ 13th drawn game after 27 matches into the season. They won the remaining eight matches and suffered six defeats. With Penang, who occupy the last slot for the quarter-finals, registering a 7-2 win over Armed Forces, Sabahawks are now trailing six points behind as they sit at 10th placing on 37 points.

 They are pipped by Negeri Sembilan, who now occupy the ninth spot on 38 points, following their 2-1 win over Pahang. But they could reduce Penang’s lead should they collect full points when they meet on Thursday (June 13). “All the players are injury free, and still in good shape, and I hope this time, they will get all the three points for the team,” said Juil.

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