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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rhinos get back to winning ways

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Rhinos were finally able to put behind their recent dip in form with a hard fought 1-0 win against Penang after a nail-biting Premier League encounter here at Likas Stadium on Friday. After a defeat and a draw from their previous two matches, Sabah were eager to collect all three points against the unbeaten Penang in front of the 20,000 home fans. 

But it was Penang that almost opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Korean midfielder, Lee Gil Hoon's touch from a free kick was denied by the post while the follow up by Mohd Syukur Saidin went just wide. The home side also had the chance to break the deadlock when Abdoulaye Faye's shot was blocked off the line by defender, Reinaldo Oliveira.

 The Rhinos took the lead in the 27th minute after a sublime teamwork play. A one-two play by skipper, El Hadji Diouf and Zuraindey Jumai down the right freed Joel Chianese who sprinted into the box before slipping a cross for Eamon Zayed to slide home his sixth goal of the season. Shafuan Shaari almost doubled Sabah's lead in the 32nd minute after he received a clearance by Penang's goalkeeper, Mohd Remezey Che Ros just outside of the area but the midfielder blasted his shot over the crossbar.

 Just before half time, Chianese wasted another opportunity when he was unable to finish from close range after an inch perfect cross from the right by Alto Linus. Penang almost equalised on the hour mark but striker Alberto Costa's header went straight into the arms of Mohd Fazli Paat. Mohd Ezaidy Khadar should have wrapped up the match in the 88th minute but his effort went wide of the post after a combo play with fellow substitute, Leopold Otong down the right flank. 

The win propelled Sabah up to second place in the league on 16 points, just a point behind leaders Terengganu T-Team who also won their match against UITM FC. Penang who suffered their first defeat of the campaign are third with 14 points however, they still have a game in hand. Sabah Rhinos will now try to continue their good form when they host Kedah at Likas Stadium on April 24.

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