Sabah suffer injury blow
Published on: Wednesday, August 14, 2019
By: GL Oh
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KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Tambadaus suffered a huge blow with news that they will have to do without their import player Ahmet Atayew for the rest of their Malaysia Cup campaign.

They have four more matches to play in the group stage with Pahang as their next opponents here at Likas Stadium this Saturday (August 17).

Team manager Henry Saimpon said on Tuesday that the Turkmenistan international suffered a serious knee injury during the match against Penang last week.

“It was quite a nasty injury and he may need surgery, so we have no choice but to continue our challenge in the Malaysia Cup competition with only three import players.

“It is certainly a big blow with one import player less in the team, but this can happen to any team in football. 

“We have to accept that and will continue to give our best on the pitch,” he said.

This is also another setback for Sabah in the midfield department this season following injury to their versatile player and local lad Sabri Sahar, ironically, also sustained during the match against Penang in the Premier League in March.

He has since undergone surgery and is currently on the road to recovery and will only see action in the new season.

Despite the misfortune, Henry hopes the player who is given the task will live up to expectation.

“We have enough players in the team and this will give the locals a chance to prove themselves and I hope they will grab the opportunity.”

With the absence of Ahmet, defender Park Tae Su and strikers, Agunaldo Mendes and Rodoljub Paunovic are the onaly three imports available for coach Jelius Ating in the coming matches. 

Sabah are currently bottom in the Group C table standing, after losing their opening two matches while Pahang are top with two straight wins while Perak and Penang are on three points each from a win and a loss.

Sabah will meet Pahang again on August 24 at Stadium Darul Makmur, Kuantan in the second round ties before hosting Penang (September 14) and Perak (September 18) here at Likas Stadium. 


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