Relief as Sabah end winless streak
Published on: Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kota Kinabalu: It was a great relief for coach Justin Ganai after Sabah registered their second win in their eighth Super League match played on Tuesday night.It may not have been a pretty affair at the Likas Stadium but the management definitely wouldn't mind with the three points collected.

Before Tuesday's victory Sabah had failed to register a win in their last five matches.

The match clearly showed that the Sabah players still need to sharpen their scoring prowess as they missed several chances to seal an easy win against the team who are rooted at the bottom of the league table.

The team has a tendency to play to the tune of their opponent.

One good example was when they excelled playing against Kelantan but in the next match they found themselves struggling to cope with the much weaker Kedah team.

They again fell into the same scenario against Kuala Lumpur but luckily they managed to come good with two excellent goals.

As usual Sabah started the match in their usual attacking style and should have led sooner but for the Kuala Lumpur keeper who saved a goal-bound header by Michael Baird at the near post in the early minutes.

The Australian import who missed the previous match due to suspension was a constant threat to the young Kuala Lumpur team with his darting runs into the box.

Youngster Rozaimi Rahman also had a few shots on target that was saved by the keeper in the early stages.

However, the team failed to take advantage of the momentum, instead they allowed the Kuala Lumpur players to find their footing in the following 30 minutes or so.

The match became a very scrappy affair after the bright start and Kuala Lumpur started to make their presence and created a few anxious moments for Sabah.

It was up to rookie Leopold Alphanso who initiated the moves that resulted with the breakthrough goal in the 34th minute.

The 21-year-old managed to find space down the right and passed the ball to Michael who in turn passed it to Rozaimi to bury the shot into the far right corner.

The team pushed with more urgency after the goal but timid attacks coupled with some solid display by the visiting keeper ensured that Sabah had only a one goal lead in the first half.

Sabah continued where they left off in the second half with fast attacking play and was rewarded one minute into the half.

Leopold was again in the thick of action when he split the visitors' defence with his pass in the 46th minute for Sumardi to burst through the centre before passing the ball for Michael to shoot home.

The win leaves Sabah with 10 points climbing up one spot to 10th position.

Their next Super League match is against Johor FC on March 3.

This Sunday (Feb 19) they will be playing away against Sime Darby in the first round of the FA cup.


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