Sabah suffer back-to-back losses
Published on: Friday, August 09, 2019
By: GL Oh

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Tambadaus’ chances of progressing from their Malaysia Cup group took another hit after they lost to Penang 2-1 at the City Stadium on Wednesday.

It was their second loss in four days after they lost to Perak 3-0 in the opening Group C match on Sunday.

They played a better game than they did in the previous match, and managed to create several scoring opportunities, but their efforts were undone by an unfortunate own goal that caused them dearly.

Leftback Evan Wensley Wenceslaus was the unlucky one, when he was caught by an off target shot from the unmarked Casagrande, and the youngster’s legs helped to divert the ball into his own net with goalkeeper Rozaimie Rohim rooted on the ground in the 72nd minute.

Earlier, Sabah, who drew 0-0 with the Islander at the same venue in the just concluded Premier League season, went a goal down as early as in the 8th minute after their defence took a nap allowing Julian Bottaro the space and time to beat Rozaimie for the opener.

They finished the half strongly though, with Rodoljub Paunovic and Aguinaldo Mendes both have scoring opportunities but their attempts were unable to beat goalkeeper Zamir Selamat.

However, Paunovic was not to be denied at the start of the second half when he was brought down in the box in the 47th minute.

The Serbian who took the spot kick himself had no problem to send Zamir the wrong way for the equaliser.

It was an evenly matched affair after that until the own goal incident. Sabah also had chances to draw level late on, but was denied by Zamir who had an excellent game.

Head coach Jelius Ating was understandably disappointed with the result but praised his players for an improved display.

“It was a tight game and both teams created a lot of chances. I think we played well but sometimes playing good will not bring you the victory and only teams who took their chances well will.

“Penang took the chances they created. They were also helped by the own goal gifted by us, and we were penalised by that.

“I have to say that I am quite pleased with the performance of the players tonight, and I hope they will bounce back in the following matches.”

He also denied that they took second tier team Penang lightly after winning the Premier League title.

“For me, it never crossed my mind that we can beat any teams after winning the Premier League. We came here to play our best and hoping to return with points as we knew Penang were an improved side and also unbeaten towards the end of the season,” he said.

Sabah will next take on Pahang at Likas Stadium on August 17 (Saturday). 


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