Rhinos eye redemption
Published on: Tuesday, February 14, 2017
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Kota Kinabalu: It will be a chance for the Rhino players to redeem themselves tonight (Tuesday) at the Likas Stadium when they take on FAM Cup outfit Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Football Club (UKM FC) in the opening round of the FA Cup competition.The team cannot afford another poor result against a side without any import players and which only finished fifth in its group stage in the third tier league last season.

A win is a must to steady the ship rocked by the humiliating 2-5 defeat by ATM in the Premier League encounter last week and anything less is likely to have a huge negative impact on the players' confidence in their following matches.

Defender Igor Cerina who was suspended on Friday is back and with his presence, the defence should be much better organised and hopefully the coach will put out more suitable players to strengthen that department.

Stand-in skipper Rawilson Butuil who was injured when the decisive third goal was conceded against ATM is likely to start the match but midfielder Azizan Nordin may miss the match due to injury.

The main concern is who will start in goal for the team. First choice Rozaimie Rohmi who had a nightmare outing Friday night is highly unlikely to be featured in the match.

His confidence is definitely shattered and with the amount of criticism he received on social media, the coach may not even put him on the bench.

In fairness, the former Felda player should be given a chance as he had contributed a lot to the team before last Friday's match especially in the season opener where he made several important saves to prevent a much bigger loss in the 0-3 defeat to Negeri Sembilan.

However, with his expected absence, former President Cupper Robson Rendy is most likely to be given the nod over the younger Mohd Sakri Masri for the role.

French midfielder Sofiane Choubani who finally saw action here in the second period of the ATM match may again start from the bench due to his lack of match fitness while the other two foreign imports Jonathan Béhé and Masaya Jitozono are likely starters.

It is still unclear on the team's final line-up but local attacking players Maxsius Musa and Umareng Bacok are also favourites to be on the list. The match kicks off at 8.15pm. - GL Oh


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