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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Keningau pip Papar for title

By FRANCIS XAVIER Francis@newsabahtimes.com.my

 KOTA KINABALU: KDM Keningau bagged the RM100,000 prize money after emerging as the champions of the inaugural KDM Malaysia Football League 2014-15 that put its curtain down at the Likas Stadium here last night.

 They clinched the crown after concluding their challenge by accumulating a total of 63 points, edging their closest rivals KDM Papar by a mere one point, who had to be content with second best despite staying on top of the 15-team standings for the most part of the season. KDM Papar settled for RM50,000 for finishing in second.

 The winning points came from their 2-1 victory over KDM Central team, which was played yesterday (Likas Stadium). KDM Keningau went into the tie needing a simple win, and they did just that as they held on to their 2-0 first-half lead until finish. Kaidi Kukus drew first blood for KDM Keningau with his sixth-minute effort before Frankie Ayoh extended their lead at about the half-hour mark.

 After the break, it was a nerve-wrecking finish for the eventual champions as Zenelter Dangku reduced the deficit for KDM Central in the 74th minute. Late on, KDM Central created at least three golden opportunities to level the scoreline, but KDM Keningau’s keeper Usman Baalon was on top of his game to thwart all their efforts.

 “It was an equally contested tie. We controlled the first half, but they made a strong comeback in the second half. “I would like to thank all the players for their efforts in working really hard to snatch this victory. “We did not occupy the top spot throughout the season, so this is a sweet victory as it helped us move to the top spot and eventually emerge as the champions,” said KDM Keningau team manager Jickol Taguah after the match.

 KDM Kota Belud, who accumulated 56 points, finished in third and received RM20,000, while KDM Bandaraya claimed the fourth spot on 49 points and they received RM10,000. KDM Papar and KDM Kota Belud will be able to double their prize money as they met in the FA Cup final last night. However, at press time, full result is still unavailable. The FA Cup champions will receive RM50,000 and RM10,000 for the runners-up.

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