Sabah keep last eight hopes alive
Published on: Tuesday, July 16, 2019
By: GL Oh

KOTA KINABALU: Hamran Peter was the hero for the State Under-21 squad as his two goals helped Sabah to clinch an all important 3-1 win over UiTM in their second round Group A President Cup match at Likas Stadium on Monday.

It was a come from behind win for Sabah, as they were made to struggle at the start and with the windy condition followed by heavy rain, it was the visitors who took control of the match for the first 45 minutes.

Justin Ganai’s boys  were unable to mount any meaningful attacks and their passing were awful at times, and it was their  defence that managed to keep out the dangers posed by UiTM.

There was not much changed at the restart, and the visitors’ relentless attacks finally paid off when they were awarded a penalty in the 57th minute.

Captain Zulkiffli Zakaria who took the spot kick made no mistake to put them one-goal up, and the setback seemed to work to Sabah’s favour as they tried to turn the game around after that.

Their efforts finally bore fruit when Hamran scored the equaliser in the 76th minute, and striking partner Ariusdius Dius then put them in front with seven minutes to go before Hamran snatched the third, his sixth in the last three matches, three minutes into injury time.

Sabah needed to win the match as only the top four teams will make the last eight together with the top four teams from Group B.

They were in fifth place with 24 points, three behind UiTM in fourth who had a match in hand at the start.

The three points earned saw them level on points with their opponents but they still need to win their final match against Penang on July 29, and at the same time hope Selangor and JDT III will do them a favour by beating UiTM in their last two matches in order for them to qualify.

Another team who are also in the hunt for the top four are Kedah who were two points adrift of Sabah but have a match in hand at the start.

However, their chances are slim following their 2-1 defeat by Penang on Monday. 


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