Coach laments poor finishing
Published on: Monday, April 15, 2019
By: GL Oh

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah head coach Jelius Ating (pic) blamed poor finishing for Sabah’s failure to take all three points in the match against UiTM at Likas Stadium on Saturday night.

Despite created many scoring opportunities, the team only managed to find the net once through Rodoljub Paunovic’s header in the 49th minute and had to be content with a draw after conceding a late equaliser from a set piece.

“We played well especially in the second half with many opportunities to score and we also had a one-on-one situation with only the keeper to beat in the first half. This is the problem in football. Only teams who took their chances well will win the match but we did not, and in the end we have to share points with UiTM instead.

“Actually a draw was not too bad, but the point is we were playing at home and we should not have lost the points so easily. The match saw us losing two valuable points. In addition to the loss against Selangor United, we had lost five points from two matches,” he said after match.

Jelius also played down on the effects to the team due to the absence of several key players for the match.

Skipper Rawilson Batui and Azizzan Nordin were both suspended and Sabri Sahar is out for months after recent surgery, while Maxis Musa and Ricco Nigel Milus were also injured.

In their places were Mafery Balang, Alto Linus, Jenius Karib, and Muhammad Mohd Safar.

“For me, the local players played well especially those who had just made a return to the squad.

“It was the imports that I am a bit concerned about. They need to raise their standards as expected from them.

“As imported players, they should realise that they need to play better than the locals. It was the imports that can make the difference for a team in this league.

“UiTM only put out three imports including one from Brunei so it was very disappointing not take the full points with the chances created.

“I have reminded our imports that they must raise their bar further and prove to us that they are better than the local players and justify their place in the team,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sabah remained in second place in the league with 15 points, three behind leaders JDT II and one point above UiTM and Selangor United. 


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