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Rhinos smash seven past Kelantan
Published on: Wednesday, November 22, 2023
By: GL Oh
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Rhinos smash seven past Kelantan
Ramon (in white) scores Sabah FC’s sixth goal despite attempts to block his shot by the Kelantan goalkeeper and his defender.
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah FC thrashed Kelantan FC 7-0 in the Super League tie played at UiTM Stadium, Monday night.

Despite missing first team players Darren Lok, Daniel Ting, Dominic Tan and Stuart Wilkin due to national duty, the Rhinos as expected did not face any resistance from the bottom club.

They took a comfortable 3-0 lead in the first half through Jafry Chew’s opener from the spot in the 25th  minute followed by Farhan Roslan’s close range effort four minutes later before Rizal Ghazari struck the third in the 39th minute.

It was the same story in the second half as Sabah FC continued their dominance and Irfan Fazail unleashed an unstoppable shot from 30 yards to put them four-up in the 56th minute.

Telmo Castanheira then extended the lead with a simple tap-in in the 68th minute. 

Ramon Machado, who only came on in the second half, scored his 11th goal since joining the club during the open window with a solo effort in the 70th minute before S.

Kumaarahan headed in the seventh, a minute before full time after hitting the post minutes earlier.

Head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee played down the scoreline but was happy the team featuring a few second stringers managed to get the three points to close the gap on third placed Kedah FC in the table standing.

Sabah FC are now 40 points, five behind Kedah with three more matches to play.

Ong also sympathised with Kelantan FC who had conceded a record 102 goals in 23 Super League matches so far following the loss on Monday.

“Goal total is of course very important but the three points was our top priority here because if we look at the Kelantan team, they have very young players.

“If they continue to suffer big losses, for me it has a very negative impact on their progress as professionals. 

“I also understand their current situation and I hope they can keep on fighting until the end of the season.

“It was also rather sad and this should not be happening in Malaysian football especially to the young players and I hope we can work out a formula so that they can maintain their interest in football after the big losses they have suffered in the past few matches,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the chance to finish in third place will all depend on how Kedah FC perform in the remaining matches.

“Kedah still have to play second placed Selangor and us at Likas Stadium in the final game, so if they slip up then anything can happen.”

He also believes Sabah FC have the depth to overcome the demand to finish the season strongly despite the hectic schedule ahead.

They are set to play Terengganu FC away on Friday (November 24) followed by Hougang United in the AFC Cup tie in Singapore on Sunday (Nov 30) and another away match against Perak FC on December 3 before playing home to PSM Makasar in the AFC Cup on December 14 and the season ending match with Kedah FC on December 17.

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