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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sabah football off to a winning start

New Sabah Times

LABUAN: Sabah got off to a winning start, albeit the hard way, after nicking a 2-1 over arch-rival Sarawak in the 5th Borneo Games football event played at the Labuan Sports Complex field last night. They were forced to fight back from a goal down before netting twice after the break. Sarawak had taken an early lead by netting the opener as early as in the second minute.

 Despite having better possession afterwards, Sabah failed to find the much needed equaliser, as Sarawak held firm to their lead. However, after the break, Jenius Karib scored a spectacular lopping goal four minutes after the break. The stout midfielder caught the Sarawak keeper napping before unleashing a lopping attempt from about 40 metres out that went straight into the back of the net.

 After the equaliser, Sabah created numerous chances, but their poor finishing denied them. But as the match headed for a draw, flanker turned striker Hafizan Jahar netted the winner in the 87th minute. Team manager Alijus Hj Sipil while happy with the win, he was a little bit concerned with the team’s lack of killer instinct in front of the opponent’s goalmouth.

 He was also far from impressed with the silly error the team committed throughout the game. “We must try to minimize our mistake and at the same time must take our chances well,” he added. “We don’t know Brunei’s strength as they will only play tomorrow (tonight) so the best thing for us to do is to play our game,” he said.

 Meanwhile, in an earlier match, hosts Labuan were held to a one-all draw by defending champion East Kalimantan. Razid Gapar, who played for Sabah senior side in the Premier League this season, drew first blood for the hosts with his 50th minute effort. However, a lapse of concentration saw them throw away their lead when East Kalimantan scored the equaliser at the hour mark.

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