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Friday, June 14, 2013

Sabahawks Juniors leave their scoring boots at home

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: It was another tale of a blunt attack for the Sabahawks Juniors as their hope of making the quarter-finals started to fade away after merely managing to settle for a 0-0 stalemate against Penang in a President’s Cup tie at the City Stadium in Penang yesterday. With the draw, the State Under-21 side is now left with a mammoth task of making the last eight as they still trail Penang by eight points, who currently occupies the last slot for the quarter-finals, with only six games to go before the seasons ends.

 A win would have reduced the gap to three points, but unfortunately, the Sabahawks Juniors seemed to have left their scoring boots at home, where both midfielders Sabri Sahar and Jenius Karim must be cursing their luck after squandering their chances. In the first half, Sabri only had the Penang keeper to beat only to see his close range attempt sail above the crossbar.

 In the second half, Jenius’ attempt had already beaten the Penang keeper, but this time, it was the goalpost that denied them the winner. “It was a close game. We had a difficult first half because we were playing against a pretty strong wind that made our movement difficult. Even then, we managed to create two or three chances with Sabri having the best of them,” said assistant coach Burhan Ajui when contacted yesterday.

 “He (Sabri) only had the keeper to beat, and I thought he would have scored for us, but unfortunately, he blasted the ball over the crossbar. If he made a placing, with only the keeper to beat, I think it could have been a goal. Then again, this is football, and you cannot blame them because you know they have tried their best,” the former State defender added.

 “In the second half, we managed to dictate play and also created numerous chances, but just could not finish them off. “Jenius brilliantly unleashed a superb effort only to find his attempt hit the goalpost,” Burhan said, before adding that they were forced to play with a man lesser after Jenius was given the marching orders for a second yellow card offence.

 “Apart from our failure to score, overall I’m happy with the commitment, effort and determination put up by the players. “Sadly to note that, this scoring thing is still haunting the team, and hopefully, after today’s (yesterday) game, we will be able to solve it starting with our next game against Perlis at home,” said Burhan.

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