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Kim Swee rues lack of killer instinct
Published on: Monday, September 18, 2023
By: GL Oh
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Kim Swee rues lack of killer instinct
Left: Ramon celebrating with Jafry Firdaus Chew after scoring against Perak and Ramon heading in the second goal for Sabah FC
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah FC’s inability to kill off Perak FC cost them the victory in the Malaysia Cup first leg quarter-final tie at Likas Stadium on Friday night.

Head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee reckoned they had created enough chances to win the game but as so often this season, the players were just not clinical enough in the oppositions’ box.

Sabah FC had a great start when Darren Lok’s looping header put them one-nil up in the fourth minute with an assist from Kwang Min Ko.

However, the visitors managed to draw level  from a well taken free kick by Luciano Guaycochea in the 10th minute.

Sabah had two great chances to regain the lead in the first half but Saddil Ramdani’s free kick was tipped over by goalkeeper Shaheeswaran Thavakumar, while Ramon Machado’s acrobatic bicycle kick narrowly missed the target.

It took only a minute at the restart for Sabah FC to find the second goal. Ramon headed in the goal from an excellent cross by Saddil after he turned a Perak FC player inside out before supplying the ball.

Again, Perak FC managed to find the equaliser and this time Wan Zak Haika who was unmarked smashed the ball from close range following a corner kick in the 54th minute.

Despite the draw, Ong is confident the team will bounce back in the return leg scheduled on September 25 in Ipoh.

“We had created a lot of chances but unfortunately we were unable to finish them, which resulted in us failing to win the game tonight.

“We knew Perak FC’s purpose was to come here to get at least draw and they had succeeded. However, we still have the return match to play in Ipoh and I believe we will turn up differently,” he said after the game.

He also hoped the match will help him to rectify the team’s weaknesses before they take on Hougang United in the AFC Cup opener here at Likas Stadium on September 21.

Meanwhile, Perak FC’s coach Yusri Che Lah admitted that they were lucky to get away with the draw.

“It was a good result for us. Sabah FC were a very strong team and we were lucky to get the two goals.

“Credit to all the players for their efforts. It is still fifty-fifty and we need to strive for a better performance in the second leg to progress,” he said.

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