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Friday, March 04, 2016

Winning start for Sabah Juniors

MATCH REPORT By FRANCIS XAVIER Francis@newsabahtimes.com.my

 KOTA KINABALU: Two first-half goals were all Sabah needed to kick start their President’s Cup Group B challenge on a winning note by notching a 2-1 win over Selangor PKNS FC at the Likas Stadium yesterday. Rahmanshah Marajeh scored the opener for the hosts as early as in the second minute before Saliun Mastar added the second in the 24th minute.

 PKNS replied through Muhammad Asnan Awal Hisham’s 37th minute effort. Sabah started the tie aggressively and found themselves taking the lead when Rahmanshah blasted home from just outside the box into the PKNS net, defeating the hapless Taufiq Ar Rashid. Then Saliun added the second with a half volley, defeating Taufiq for the second time. After taking a two-goal lead, Sabah seemed to slow their tempo and PKNS capitalised on this and managed to reduce the deficit when Muhammad Asnan blasted home a low drive, defeating Sabah custodian Mohd Sakri Masri. The first half ended 2-1.

 When the second half resumed, it was the visitors whodictated play, but they just could not penetrate the Sabah defence marshalled by skipper Randy Baruh @ Samson, as Sabah held on to the slender lead until the final whistle. Head coach Justin Ganai when met after the match was happy to kick start their campaign on a winning note.

 However, the veteran coach was quick to point out that there is plenty of room for improvement. “One aspect that we need to tackle immediately is the confidence of the players. They need to be more confident and must also believe in their teammates. “We also need to minimise making mistakes, especially in front of our goal,” Justin said.

 Meanwhile, team manager Datuk Juil Nuatim was also happy with the victory. He said this would inspire the players to play better in the upcoming matches. “They must continue to work hard and improve their game …individually or as a team,” said Juil. Sabah will continue their challenge by taking on Penang away on March 10.

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