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SAFA Cup: Keningau crowned champions
Published on: Tuesday, January 30, 2024
By: GL Oh
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SAFA Cup: Keningau crowned champions
Keningau’s players and officials with Shahelmey and others after the prize presentation.
Kota Kinabalu: Keningau turned the tables on Nabawan as they came up top in the grand finale of the 2023 Safa (Sabah Football Association) Cup competition at the Likas Stadium on Sunday.

Keningau, who lost to Nabawan in the upper interior zone tournament two weeks ago, won 4-3 on penalties after the match ended 1-1 in extra time.

They took home the RM15,000 cash prize while the losing finalists settled for RM10,000.

The champions, who were also named the best team in the competition, had on Saturday booked their place in the final by beating Kota Marudu 2-1 in extra time while Nabawan had an easy 4-1 win over Putatan in the other semi-final.

Despite failing to lift the trophy, Nabawan’s players swept all the individual awards with Jhonsen Pini @ Andawat named as the best goalkeeper, Rozackyle Yanam as the top scorer with four goals while the best player title was awarded to Muhammad Razif B Alexcius.

Meanwhile, in the play-off which preceded the final on Sunday, Kota Marudu defeated Putatan 2-1 to take the third place and RM7,500 while Putatan received RM5,000.

The competition started on Friday at the Sukma fields featuring the 12 teams who had finished in the top two positions in their respective zones.

Other teams who made the grand finals were Tongod, Kota Belud, Kinabatangan, Sipitang, Kuala Penyu, Penampang, Kunak and Tawau.

They were drawn into four groups. Nabawan were the winners in Group A, Putatan in Group B, Kota Marudu in Group C and Keningau in Group D.

Safa president Datuk Shahelmey Yahya, who gave away the top prizes, congratulated Keningau FA for winning the trophy and also to all the teams who made the grand final.

He was also pleased the tournament had received a good response and hopes talented players will be selected in preparation for the MFL, President Cup and Youth Cup tournaments.

Present at the closing ceremony were Safa deputy president Datuk Awang Kadin Tang, vice president Datuk Seri Dr Ruddy Awah and Sabah FC director Joh Wid.

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