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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Keningau, Tawau seal grand final tickets

By FRANCIS XAVIER

 KOTA KINABALU: Two former champions, Keningau and Tawau are among the four teams that have sealed their tickets into the grand final of the Safa Cup football tournament, which is to take place in the state capital from Nov 19-24. They are the latest to have booked their tickets alongside Kota Marudu and Kuala Penyu. Four other teams, including defending champions, Kota Kinabalu, as well as Kinabatangan, Sipitang and Kota Belud have booked their berths earlier on.

 This time around, Keningau and Tawau will surely want to add more feathers to their campaign after clinching their tickets in rather stylish fashion. For the record, both teams have won the championship once with Keningau clinching the title in the first edition of the tournament in 2013, while Tawau did it the following year.

 Two other former winners, Sandakan (2015) and Labuan (2016) failed to make the cut. Keningau clinched their ticket from the Interior Upper Zone that also comprised Nabawan, Tambunan and Tenom. They were undefeated in their zone campaign. They defeated Tenom 2-0 in the opener before edging Nabawan 1-0.

They concluded their campaign by defeating Tambunan 3-1. The other matches in the zone saw Nabawan thrash Tambunan 5-1 before they drew with Tenom one-all. The other match saw Tenom demolish Tambunan 4-0. Tawau also won all their battles in the Tawau Zone tournament where they have the company of Kunak, Lahad Datu and Semporna. Tawau kick started their zone campaign with a big bang where they thrashed Kunak 9-0.

In the second game, they recorded a 7-0 win over Semporna before concluding their challenge with a 3-1 win over Lahad Datu. The other matches of the zone saw Lahad Datu defeat Semporna 4-2 and Kunak 2-0 while the other match saw Kunak edge Semporna 3-2. As for Kota Marudu, they won the North Zone tournament. Keningau, Tawau, and Kota Marudu also made the cut with unbeaten records.

They defeated Pitas 4-2, hosts Kudat 2-1 and Matunggong 2-1. The rest of the results of the zone saw Kudat go down 0-2 to Matunggong, Pitas defeat Matunggong 5-3 and Kudat lose 1-2 to Pitas. Kuala Penyu created history of sorts after clinching their grand final ticket for the first time. They overcame Labuan and Menumbok in the three-day Interior Central Zone tournament.

 They won 4-2 over Menumbok before nicking an upset 2-1 victory over Labuan in their second game. Menumbok and Labuan played to a 0-0 draw in the opener. Meanwhile, Safa Kudat deputy president Awang Lahaji, on behalf of the organising committees, expressed his sincere thanks to Tanjong Kapor Assemblyman cum Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Ben Chong for supporting the tournament. He said they appreciated his presence during the closing ceremony where the latter gave away the prizes to the winners.

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