Do-or-die match for Sabah
Published on: Friday, August 23, 2019
By: GL Oh
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KOTA KINABALU: It is a do-or-die mission for Sabah Tambadaus as they must beat Pahang in the return leg of the Group C Malaysia Cup tie at Stadium Darul Makmur, Kuantan tomorrow (Saturday) to stay alive in the hunt for a quarterfinal berth.

It will be a tall order for Jelius Ating (pic) and his boys having lost to the same team 1-2 despite having home advantage at Likas Stadium a week ago.

Despite the odds, the head coach wants his players to stay positive and win the match.

“We have to give our best for the match because there is still an outside chance for us to qualify with three matches to go.

“There is nine points to be won and if we can win all three matches and also depending on the other match results, we still can make it, so it is important we are ready to try to win the match,” he said on Thursday.

He admitted that it is a difficult task as Pahang had won all three matches so far and are set to qualify with ease in the group that also consist of Perak and Penang who are tied with four points each while Sabah are without a point.

“We know that the match in Kuantan is not going to be easy. We are playing against a team that had beaten us at home and we must admit that we have to double our effort in order to achieve a positive result there.

“However, anything can happen in football. They managed to beat us here in Likas, and we may be able to do the same against them at their home as well.

“We played well against them in the second half last week and had created a lot opportunities but were unable to finish them, so the players must not repeat the same mistakes again if we are to get something from the match on Saturday.”

Meanwhile, Jelius said he may make a slight change in the starting line-up with Mafry Balang on the list ahead of Jenius Karib.

“We may make an adjustment by resting Jenius Karib and to start with Mafry Balang while the others remain the same.

“However, the final decision will only be made later, but Maxsius Musa is definitely out after collecting his third yellow card against Pahang last week.”

The probable starting 11 are Rozaimie Rohim, Park Taesu, Rawilson Batuil, Evan Wensley Wenceslaus, Randy Baruh, Ricco Nigel Milus, Azizan Nordin, Alto Linus, Mafry Balang/Jenius Karib, Aguinaldo Mendes and Rodoljub Paunovic.

Sabah’s final two matches are against Penang (September 14) and Perak (September 18) here at Likas Stadium. 


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