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Monday, June 24, 2013

Sabah teams facing crunch ties

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah's senior and junior teams will see action today (Monday) and both have a big task ahead as they face their respective opponents. The senior team are hoping to build on their 5-3 win over PDRM on Friday for an away victory against Johor to book themselves a place in the Malaysia Cup play-off.

 With two matches to go, Sabah are in sixth place, five points ahead of Pos Malaysia and another three points will definitely confirm their place for the play-off with the fifth place finisher and the bottom two teams from the Super League. A draw is risky business as they still have to face the unbeaten Sarawak team at home in their final match.

 The match today is unlikely to see any major changes in the starting line-up apart from the goalkeeper where a final decision will be made before the start. The management will have to choose whether to retain Shahril Saa'ri who was a bundle of nerves in the previous match but still managed to produce a string of saves or former international Syamsuri Mustafa.

 In defence , the foursome of Shahril Faizal, Hardy Charles Parsi, Shahrul Azhar Ture and Julamri Muhammad are set to start with Rosdin Wasli as defensive midfielder. The two wingers are Alto Linus and Shahruddin Yakup while Koh Traore will lead the attack in search of goals and he will be supported by Abdelfatah Safi and Zainizam Marjan in the engine room.

 Meanwhile, the junior team will take on Terengganu at the Likas Stadium and they are also searching for a win in order to prolong their stay in the competition. Unlike their seniors, their fate rests solely on the results of their rivals and at the same time they must win their remaining four matches to harbour any hope of making the knockout stage.

 Despite the impressive 3-1 away win over Selangor, the team remained in 10th place as their closest rivals also registered wins in their respective matches. The win on Thursday also came with a heavy prize with the outstanding Robson Rendy Rening receiving his marching orders and will be suspended for two matches. To make matters worse, the two central defenders Badrul Affendy and Benerlys Raim are also going to miss the match today with their two yellow cards offences.

 Shazree Ruhip Ismail who used to employed as a right back is set to partner skipper Dendy Lowa in the centre of defence with Gerald Sean Mojikon on the right and Zulmanshah Aling on the left. Under-19 player Mohd Farris who was outstanding since coming into the squad two matches ago will start in the midfeld with Jenius Karib while the two wingers are the trusted pair of Umareng Bacok and Anwari Tajuddin.

 Sabri Sahar who won the man of the match award against Selangor will again play as striker and he may be partnered with another Under-19 newcomer Ag Ku Mohd Hamirullizam Mohd Ikhmal who was called up for the Harimau Muda C selection trial recently.

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